India’s budget airlines Indigo announced on Monday (December 7) that they will provide refund to all passengers who have cancelled their tickets due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown. The airlines assured that all refunds will be completed by January 31, 2021.

Indigo also said that so far the company has made 90 per cent of total refunds which includes Rs 100 crore already paid to the customers.

“Since the resumption of operations in May, IndiGo has been rapidly refunding amounts owed to customers whose flights had been cancelled during the lockdown. The airline has already processed close to Rs 1000 crore of refunds, which is approximately 90 percent of the total amount owed to our customers. IndiGo is committed to complete payment against all pending credit shells latest by January 31, 2021,” a statement issued by the airlines read.

The Supreme Court (SC) had in an order passed in October this year said that all airlines had to make complete payments of refunds to passengers by March 2021. The SC directed refund of air tickets – both domestic and international – for travel during the COVID-19 lockdown period from March 25 to May 24, 2020 within three weeks from the date of the cancellation of flights.

“The sudden onset of Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown, brought our operations to a complete halt by the end of March of this year. As our incoming cash flow dried up, 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.

“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. We are pleased to commit that we will disburse the full 100% credit shell payments latest by January 31, 2021. We would like to thank all our customers who stood by us for their patience and understanding during this unprecedented crisis,” Ronojoy Dutta, IndiGo’s CEO, said in a statement.

Accepting the Centre’s proposal, the SC directed that if the tickets had been booked through an agent for travel within the lockdown period, in all such cases full refund shall be given by the airlines immediately and the amount shall be passed on immediately by the agent to the passengers.

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