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Tuesday, 15 September, 2020, 12 : 45 PM [IST]

IAAI urges DGCA & airlines to comply with CAR 2008 provisions for air ticket refunds

Pursuant to the direction of the Supreme Court on the PIL filed by Pravasi Legal Cell (PLC) and impleaded by IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) on the refund of air tickets, the association has urged the aviation regulator DGCA and airlines to comply with provision of air ticket refund as mandated in the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) 2008.

The SC in its hearing on September 9 has directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to file an additional affidavit within one week. Proposals of DGCA as per the present affidavit submitted to the SC regarding refund of air tickets is not sufficient enough to address the core issue of relief to everyone, whose rights cancelled because of lockdown and according to IAAI the option of refund is "the prerogative of the passenger and not a default practice of the Airline.  We want the Regulator and the operators to comply with Aircraft Rules 1937 and the provisions of the air ticket refund as contained in the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) 2008,” IAAI has said.

Commenting on this, Biji Eapen, National President, IAAI, said, "We all are facing an economic crisis that could reshape how we survive, live and travel. Air traffic is now changed to an age of masks/sanitisers/social distancing, etc., and there could be a lot of operational revivals or significant changes in the coming future ".
Earlier, the DGCA in an affidavit informed the Supreme Court that, airlines might fully refund all domestic and international tickets booked for travel during lockdown between March 25 and May 3, 2020.  “Whereas the MoCA order 16.04.2020, ratifying the ticket refunding between March 25 and May 3, 2020 itself was ambiguous and devoid of any logic. Allowing airlines to issue tickets for journey during lockdown period itself was illegal, arbitrary, especially during a period when all national and international airports were closed operation due to Coivd-19 pandemic,” the IAAI said.
To safeguard the consumer rights of air passengers and to secure their hard-earned money paid for air tickets,  IAAI reiterate its demands as follows:
- Airlines must pay full refund of all tickets issued before and after March 24 for the flights that were supposed to operate and cancelled due to coronavirus COVID-19 advisories, travel ban and lockdown.
- Passengers willing to travel conveniently at a later period may provide with Credit shell.

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