NEW DELHI: The country’s largest domestic airline, InterGlobe Aviation-operated IndiGo, on Wednesday said it has paid out refunds worth about Rs1,030 crore to passengers following a Supreme Court order which asked airlines to refund fares for bookings made during the government-imposed lockdown last year.
“IndiGo completes disbursement of 99.95% customer credit shells and refunds,” the airline said in a statement. “The pending credit shells are mostly cash transactions wherein IndiGo is awaiting bank transfer details from the customers.”
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Last September, the apex court had directed airlines to immediately refund fares booked for travel until 24 May, 2020. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had separately issued a notification on 16 April, ordering airlines to refund tickets booked during the first phase of the lockdown from 25 March to 14 April.
The apex court, in its order, had said that the value of an air ticket refunded through credit shell vouchers will be increased by 0.50% per month (6% per annum) till 30 June, 2020 and thereafter till 31 March, 2021 by 0.75% per month (9% per annum). However, only airlines in financial distress could issue credit shell vouchers till March-end.
“The sudden onset of Covid19 and the resulting lockdown, brought our operations to a complete halt by the end of March of 2020. As our incoming cash flow through ticket sales got impacted, we were unable to immediately process refunds for cancelled flights and had to create credit shells for the refunds that were due to our customers,” IndiGo’s chief executive Rono Dutta said in the statement.
“However, with the resumption of operations and a steady increase in demand for air travel, our priority has been to refund the credit shell amounts in an expedited manner,” Dutta added.