All Airlines will have to refund money collected from tickets that were cancelled following the Covid-19 induced lockdown without any cancellation charge, the Supreme Court said today. The three-judge Bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, passed the order after taking into account the recommendations of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to refund ticket fares and also approved a credit shell scheme which will be valid till March 31. The judgement applies for bookings made for both domestic and international tickets during the period. Those who have purchased tickets through travel agents can collect the refund amount from them once the money is credited back to their account, the court said.
The airlines have been given time to refund the amount to the passengers by March 31 next year, it said. But bookings made during lockdown for travelling during lockdown needs to be refunded immediately “as the airlines were not supposed to book such tickets,” the court said. “If a passenger booked a ticket during the lockdown period (from March 25 to May 24) for travel during lockdown period and the airline has received payment for booking of air ticket for travel during the same period, for both domestic and international air travel and refund is sought by the passenger against that booking being cancelled, the airline shall refund the full amount collected without any cancellation charges. The refund shall be made within a period of three weeks from the date of cancellation, the order said.