Leading low-cost carrier IndiGo on Monday announced that it will refund all passengers against all the tickets cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown in March this year, by 31 January 2021.
“We are pleased to commit that we will disburse the full 100 percent credit shell payments latest by January 31, 2021,” IndiGo said in a media release.
The airline further added that it has already processed close to ₹1,000 crore of refunds, which is approximately 90 percent of the total amount it owed to its customers.
“The sudden onset of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown, brought our operations to a complete halt by the end of March of this year. As our incoming cash flow dried up, we were unable to immediately process refunds for cancelled flights and had to create credit shells for the refunds that were due to our customers,” Ronojoy Dutta CEO of IndiGo said.
However, with the resumption of flight operations and a steady increase in demand for air travel, our priority has been to refund the credit shells in an expedited manner, Dutta added.
The domestic and international flights in India have been suspended due to the coronavirus lockdown, imposed on March 25. When the flights were suspended during the Covid-19 lockdown, instead of refunding the tickets, airlines had begun a practice to keep these amounts in a credit shell. Passengers could use these credit shells to book on a later date, but with certain restrictions.
The Supreme Court had in October ordered all airlines to make complete payments of refunds to passengers by March 2021. SC directed refund of air tickets for travel during the COVID-19 lockdown period from March 25 to May 24 within three weeks from the date of the cancellation of flights. The apex court’s order is applicable for the bookings made for both domestic and international tickets during the period.
India resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country since March 23 due to the pandemic.