NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday told the Centre to firm up its stand on refund of money to passengers whose flights got cancelled due to the lockdown while the airlines said they would sit with the civil aviation ministry to sort out the issue.
A PIL filed by
Pravasi Legal Cell
had challenged the decision of airlines to provide a ‘credit shell’, valid up to one year, against
that became useless for flights booked during the lockdown period from March 25. When a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan,
Sanjay Kishan Kaul
and MR Shah told
solicitor general Tushar Mehta
that the Centre should take a stand on the issue, Mehta said, “I personally feel that passengers should be refunded their money, but it is for private airlines to consult each other and take a stand.”
Appearing for some airlines, senior advocate Harish Salve said the aviation sector had suffered a $60 billion dent and it was a global practice by airlines to create a ‘credit shell’ valid for one year for passengers to allow them to travel on the same route. “ If asked to refund, airlines will fold up,” he said.
When counsel Neela Gokhale raised the problems faced by 1,500
because of cancellation of tickets, the bench said it was true that many may not have paid agents for tickets they had booked in advance for travel during the lockdown.