On Monday, the Supreme Court sought a response from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on the plea for a refund of the full amount of air tickets booked (for travel from 25 March to 3 May 2020 ) before the lockdown. The petition was filed by the Pravasi Legal Cell, NGO.
The petition filed in the Supreme Court stated that various airline companies are not giving refunds on tickets booked before the lockdown. Airlines are returning money following the ministry’s directive on tickets booked after the lockdown, but companies have remained silent on earlier bookings.
Ticket booking is closed now
It may be noted that the DGCA issued a circular directing all airlines not to book any domestic or international tickets yet. The DGCA took this decision after the government intervened. We are made to know that Air India started an online ticket booking service from May 4 for domestic flights and June 1 for international flights. However, on the instructions of Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, he has also stopped ticket booking. The ministry has said that airlines should now wait for the government’s decision to start the ticket booking process.
Air travel will be expensive
Along with this, the rating agency has also predicted that air travel will be expensive due to social distance norms. All domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended from 25 March to 3 May 2020 due to the lockdown in the country.