Budget carrier IndiGo said on Wednesday it has processed 99.95 per cent of the total amount owed to passengers whose flights got cancelled during the two-month lockdown beginning March 25 last year.
The Supreme Court had last September instructed all the airlines to fully refund the passengers, whose flights were cancelled during the lockdown period (March 25, 2020 to May 24, 2020), by March 31, 2021.
In a statement, IndiGo said: "Since the resumption of operations in May 2020, IndiGo has been rapidly refunding amounts owed to customers whose flights had been cancelled during the lockdown. The airline has already processed close to Rs 1,030 crore of refunds, which amounts to about 99.95 per cent of the total amount owed to its customers."
The pending credit shells are mostly cash transactions wherein IndiGo is awaiting bank transfer details from the customers, it mentioned.
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The two-month lockdown and pandemic-related travel restrictions have badly hit the Indian airlines. Revenues of major Indian scheduled carriers fell from Rs 46,711 crore during April-September 2019 to about Rs 11,810 crore during April-September 2020, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the Rajya Sabha last month.
On Wednesday, Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer, IndiGo explained the airline''s position.
"As our incoming cash flow through ticket sales got impacted (due to complete halt of operations due to lockdown), we were unable to immediately process refunds for cancelled flights and had to create credit shells for the refunds that were due to our customers," he said.
However, with the resumption of operations and a steady increase in demand for air travel, our priority has been to refund the credit shell amounts in an expedited manner, he noted.
"We are pleased to share that we have disbursed 99.95 per cent credit shell payments and will complete the remaining payments as soon as we receive requisite details from the customers," Dutta mentioned.