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.
Quoting an executive from a travel agency, The Hindu reported that passengers can be provided a refund only if the airline processes it, which is unlikely to happen unless it is resurrected.
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.
The airline will wait for the bidding process being conducted by a State Bank of India-led consortium of banks to conclude before it takes a decision on the future of the airline, Jet Airways said in a statement.
“The airline will inform all guests about the temporary suspension of flight operations via text message or email to the contact details listed in their bookings. Jet Airways sincerely and profusely apologises for the disruption to the travel plans of all its guests. Jet Airways is hopeful that it will be able to bring the Joy of Flying back to its guests as soon as possible,” it added.
In a separate letter, the airline informed its customers enrolled in the loyalty and rewards programme, Jet Privilege (JP), that their JP Miles are secure and intact and can be used on other airlines.