The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has proposed full refund by airlines to be immediately provided for tickets booked during the COVID-19 lockdown for domestic or international travel within the lockdown period.
For all other cases, the airlines shall make all endeavours to refund the collected amount to the passenger within 15 days, the civil aviation regulator said in an affidavit filed in the top court.
If the tickets have been booked during the first lockdown period, that is between 25 March and 14 April 2020 for the journeys to be undertaken in both first and second lockdown period that is from 25 March to 3 May 2020, in all such cases, full refund shall be given by the airlines immediately (this is being mandated vide MoCA's OM dated 16 April 2020 as the airlines were not supposed to book such tickets), it said.
The DGCA said that after various rounds of deliberations between the stakeholders including the airlines, they have arrived at a proposed workable solution keeping in view the interests of both passengers as well as companies.
On 12 June, the top court, while hearing a PIL filed by NGO 'Pravasi Legal Cell', had asked the Centre, the DGCA and the airlines to discuss and work out modalities for full refund of tickets for domestic and international flights which were cancelled following the COVID-19 lockdown.
The plea by NGO had urged the court to declare the alleged action of airlines of not refunding the entire value of cancelled air tickets as violative of civil aviation requirement issued by the authority.