Home Legal NewsRecent Development Plea in SC as airlines fail to refund full amount of tickets booked during lockdown; violating MCA orders

Plea in SC as airlines fail to refund full amount of tickets booked during lockdown; violating MCA orders

by Muskan
Supreme Court

NGO Pravasi Legal Cellhas moved a plea in the apex court stating that airlines operating both domestic and international flights in India have violated the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) order which directed them to pay full refund for tickets booked during the COVID-19 lockdown period. It added that instead of providing the refund according to the orders the airlines are providing a credit shell, valid up to one year.

The plea was moved through advocate Jose Abraham.

It contended that the failure to refund the full amount in the wake of restrictions imposed by the government amounted to a violation of the Civil Aviation Requirement, 2008 issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

An office memorandum was issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) on April 16 directing all airline operators to refund the full amount for all tickets booked during the first phase of the lockdown period i.e. from March 25 to April 14. This included both domestic and international air travel.

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The MCA memorandum further directed that the airlines would not levy any cancellation charges for the cancellation of a ticket booked during the first lockdown phase for travel during the second lockdown period from April 15 to May 3.

However, the petitioner added that the orders were only applicable to tickets that were booked during the lockdown period.

Thereby, it stated “leaves out the vast majority of passengers who had booked tickets before the flights were banned and thus indirectly approves the practice of the Airlines providing Credit Shell for booking effected before the lockdown, though the same clearly violates the refund rules of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).”

The petitioner pointed out that as it was the duty of the airlines to start the refund process after cancellation of a flight, the passengers should not be required to request a refund

The petitioner has prayed for a declaration that the above stated action of the airlines is in violation of DGCA Rules.

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