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Refund passengers who cancelled flights in last year lockdown: Govt to airlines

New Delhi: The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has expressed dissatisfaction over airline companies defaulting on refunds to passengers over flight tickets that were booked for travel during the coronavirus induced nationwide lockdown last year but got cancelled.

“MoCA Secretary has chaired the meeting today with all the airline companies regarding credit shells refund and expressed dissatisfaction towards airline companies who did not refund the money. GoAir and IndiGo have submitted their undertaking to the ministry that they have refund all the credit shells to the passengers”, an official told ANI.

A credit shell is a credit note created against a cancelled PNR and can be used by the passenger for a future booking.

India’s largest domestic airline IndiGo has refunded about 1,030 crore to customers. “IndiGo completes disbursement of 99.95% customer credit shells and refunds,” the airline operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd had said in a statement.

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India’s low-cost airline SpiceJet wasn’t able to refund credit shells to the passengers. National carrier Air India is also yet to refund total credit shells to the passengers.

Air Asia and Vistara is also yet clear the credit shell to the passengers.

The Supreme Court in September 2020 had directed airlines to immediately refund fares booked for travel until 24 May 2020. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had separately issued a notification on 16 April, ordering airlines to immediately refund tickets booked during the first phase of the lockdown from 25 March 2020 to 14 April 2020. The apex court had also approved a credit shell scheme which was valid till 31 March 2021.

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