Air India, which owes refunds worth over ₹250 crore to passengers whose flights got cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic. However, now the airline plans to fast-track the process of refunds that they had started since July this year. The airline said in a statement, “Air India is opening automated refunds in India and abroad. We have cleared about Rs 130 crore of refunds in the previous month and are planning to expedite the process.”
Air India Had Cancelled Flights To 5 European Destinations
Air India had cancelled flights to 5 European destinations due to low demand and loss of revenue. The national carrier scrapped its future flights to Madrid, Milan, Copenhagen, Vienna and Stockholm effective immediately since it wasn’t financially viable. Earlier, an Air India Express flight from Dubai, crashed while landing at the Kozhikode airport leading to the death of 18 people including two pilots.
Air India Shuts Down Flights To 5 European Destinations Due To Low Demand
Air India now decided to stop its flights to at least 5 European destinations. They took this decision due to a drop in passenger carriage that resulted in the loss of revenue. These 5 European destinations are Madrid, Milan, Copenhagen, Vienna and Stockholm. Flights to these places are scrapped effective immediately. Meanwhile, India extends ban on international flights till August 31 while more travel bubbles shall be announced soon.
The Commercial Division of Air India circulated an internal note which states “In view of the COVID situation, it has been approved by competent authority to close down following stations and become offline. The current IBOs (international booking offices) are to be recalled to India and the station will be handed over to GSA (general sales agent) after completion of formality of closure.”
IATA Informed That Global Passenger Numbers For 2020 Might Decline By 55% Compared To 2019
The IATA (International Air Transport Association) stated in its forecast that global passenger traffic shall not return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2024. This is one year later than previously projected. The IATA also informed that global passenger numbers for 2020 might decline by 55% compared to 2019. This was a revised forecast from the one in April. IATA had then predicted that global passenger numbers shall decrease by 46% this year.
The Union Government planned to expand air bubbles with more countries to increase international flights. India, currently created air bubbles with the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, UAE and Kuwait. But countries like Spain Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Sweden weren’t in favour of reopening their air bubbles with India. So, the national carried decided to close down their station in these European destinations.