The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday requested the Centre to provide a full refund for the cancelled flight tickets of airlines due to the lockdown. An apex court bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked the Centre and the airlines to reply within three weeks. The bench also proposed that airlines provide a credit shell with two-year validity against cancelled flight bookings.
Airlines globally will lose over USD 84 billion during the financial year 2020
“Why should credit be limited to a short period or for the same route?” the bench asked.
Senior advocate Harish Salve said that “airlines have suffered a hit of $60 billion globally due to pandemic” and that 49% flying cost is fixed. He added that airlines have had zero revenue during the lockdown.
According to the industry body International Air Transport Association, airlines will lose over USD 84 billion globally during the financial year 2020. This is the worst in aviation history. SpiceJet Ltd said, “Nowhere in the world airlines are refunding complete fare. We would like to sit with the Civil Aviation Ministry and come up with a solution.”
The apex court directed the Civil Aviation Ministry to schedule a meeting with airlines and discuss the refunds for passengers. The case will be heard after three weeks and all airlines will be heard as parties to this plea.
The directions were issued while hearing the plea, filed on June 5, by Travel Agents Federations of India.