New Delhi: In a decision made by the Justices R. S. Reddy, M. R. Shah and Ashok Bushan, the Supreme Court has ordered the airlines to give full refund to all passengers and travel agents who had booked seats domestic and international flights between the period of March 25th and May 25th. It is well-known that the Indian government had imposed country-wide lockdown from March 25th. Airlines across the country had suspended their services but resumed domestic services in late May. Cargo flights and DGCA approved international flights have had been operating but this week, DGCA has extended the suspension of international flights till October 31.

The Supreme Court decision might end up as a blow to airline companies with the court accepting the DGCA proposal of refunding the passengers and travel agents who were denied services due to the pandemic. The Supreme Court on Thursday has ordered that full refunds have to be awarded in three weeks, and no cancellation charges will be levied on the customers.

The refund amounts will be awarded to customers and if a passenger had booked a seat with the assistance of a travel agent, the refunds shall be made to the travel agents. Airlines across India have seen sharp decline in bookings since they have had resumed services in late May. The Supreme Court added that if an airline is currently in midst of financial troubles, credit shall be awarded to the customers or travel agents. The passengers can use credit to book any route of their preference and can transfer the credit to another passenger if they wish to. The credit should be used for booking the seats before March 31, 2021.