Following the last year Supreme Court directive to the airlines to refund full amounts of air tickets cancelled between March 25 and May 24, while many airlines have nearly completed the process, Air India is lagging behind with about Rs.250 crores in its pocket yet to be refunded. This, when IndiGo announced earlier this year that it has processed 99.5% of refunds due to passengers for flight cancellations during the lockdown. MakeMyTrip issued a note to customers stating that it had disbursed a refund in almost 99.6% of its impacted bookings during the lockdown.
“Refunds with Air India have been a problem and many travel operators have been facing this issue, which is not the case with companies like Go First and SpiceJet.” A travel agent informed. It is learned that while travel operators and online travel platforms are getting refunds in regular tranches to be passed on to customers from other domestic carriers, there has been a delay in the case of Air India. Air India seems that to be managing cash flows. The speed for refund is not optimal.
Air India is planning to expedite the process started in July despite its revenues being “severely hit” due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. “Air India is opening automated refunds in India and abroad. We have cleared about Rs 130 crore of refunds in the previous month and are planning to expedite the process,” the carrier said.