Passengers who booked Jet Airways flights are unlikely to get refund for their tickets soon though the airline announced cancellation of its domestic and international flights from Wednesday.
“Passengers can be provided a refund only if the airline processes it, which is unlikely to happen unless it is resurrected,” said an executive from one of the leading travel booking portals.
The industry source said that until Wednesday, passengers were being compensated in case of cancellations.
The airline had written to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Finance Ministry as well as the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Tuesday informing them that if an emergency fund of ₹400 crore was not released by banks it would not be in a position to refund passengers for cancellations.
Following the announcement from Jet on Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Ministry tweeted, “DGCA and other regulators are monitoring the situation carefully to ensure that all existing rules regarding refunds, cancellations, and alternative bookings are followed strictly.” However, it is not clear how the government can ensure repayment to passengers when the airline has no cash reserve.
The Ministry is scheduled to meet all airlines on Thursday “to coordinate and address any emerging issues on capacity, slots and passenger convenience.”
Travel agents get their refund from a system such as IATA’s service called Bill and Settlement Plan, which enables settlement of financial transactions with airlines. But if the refund amount for a particular airline is higher than the value of bookings made on that day, then the system stops the refund, impacting a travel agent’s ability to repay passengers.