Plea in SC Seeking Refund of Air-Tickets Booked during Lockdown as the Airlines Run out of Revenue

By Sharvari Lohakare

On Friday, the Supreme Court asked for the stand of the Central Government on a plea filed which seeks full refund of ticket fair upon cancellation due to the lockdown. The bench consisting of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice SK Kaul and Justice MR Shah asked the Civil Aviation Ministry to have a word with all the concerned airlines and respond to the court after discussing the modalities involved. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared on behalf of the Centre and informed the court that Indians stranded outside India have been brought back in the country under the Vande Bharat scheme, whereas the present plea was filed when travel from outside India was not allowed. The court however stuck to the issue regarding refund of cancelled tickets and rebuffed discussing any other area under discussion. Senior Advocate Harish Salve while appearing for SpiceJet argued that the Airlines have suffered a huge loss of over $60 Billion globally due to the pandemic. It was further informed that 49% of the flying cost was fixed, with zero revenue to the airlines. Salve also contended that no airlines globally are refunding any money after the cancellation. He also conveyed the Airline’s intention to discuss the issue with the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The matter will be taken up again in three weeks after the Centre clears its stand to the Court.

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