The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Center, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of a new request for a full refund of tickets for flights canceled due to the suspension caused by Covid-19.
The petition filed by the Air Passenger Association of India has received similar complaints from Pravasi Legal Cell and Travel Agents Federation of India.
The Apex Court Bench, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, also asked all respondents for an answer.
On June 12, the Apex Court bank asked the center and airlines to respond within three weeks to the issue. The bank had also suggested that airlines provide a two-year credit shell for flight bookings that were canceled during the ban.
The Apex court had also instructed the Ministry of Civil Aviation to arrange a meeting with airlines and to develop modalities to provide refunds to passengers. The court said that all airlines are heard as parties to this plea.
The airline’s senior lawyer, Harish Salve, said that “airlines have been hit by $ 60 billion worldwide due to the pandemic” and that flight costs are at 49%. He added that the airlines did not generate any revenue during the ban.
The petition submitted by the NGO Pravasi Legal Cell said that the non-refund of the ticket amount by airlines was illegal and violated the requirements of the DGCA.
The petitioner argued that instead of fully refund the amount collected for canceled tickets, airlines provide a credit shell that is valid for up to one year.