Airlines will have to refund tickets booked during the coronavirus lockdown within three weeks, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Thursday. The directive will apply to all domestic and international tickets booked during the first phase of the nationwide lockdown, that began on March 25 and was extended till May 3 on April 14, for travel between the entire period.
The circular by the Aviation Ministry said that there must be no cancellation charge.
"If a passenger has booked a ticket during the first lockdown period (from 25th of March to 14th of April, 2020) and the airline has received payment for booking of the air ticket during the first lockdown period for travel during the same period, for both domestic and international air travel and refund is sought by the passenger against that booking being cancelled, the Airline shall refund the full amount collected without levy of cancellation charge. The refund shall be made within a period of three weeks from the date of request of cancellation," said DGCA in a circular.
If a passenger has booked a ticket during the first phase of lockdown period (25th March-14th April), the airline shall refund the full amount; refund to be made within a period of 3 weeks from date of request of cancellation: Ministry of Civil Aviation pic.twitter.com/SCOF43MmJN— ANI (@ANI) April 16, 2020
The carriers, including IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir, had suspended flights during the lockdown, but instead of refunding the ticket, had kept the fare in a credit shell that a passenger could use later.
India is under a nationwide lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of coronavirus. Consequently, all domestic and international commercial passenger flights were suspended for this time period.