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TAFI asks Go First to process refunds using money deposited in credit shell


Amid uncertainty over tickets booked by passengers with crisis-hit Go First, a travel agents’ body on Friday urged the carrier to make the refunds from the agents’ funds deposited in a credit shell with the airline.

The Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has also urged Go First that the ticket refund amount be directly credited to the agents’ bank accounts as many passengers are seeking refunds.

TAFI, which has more than 1,400 members, in a letter to Go First CEO Kaushik Khona said that thousands of tickets need to be cancelled due to the suspension of flights.

Go First has cancelled all flights till May 9 and has suspended sale of tickets till May 15.

On GoFirst’s website, bookings are available from May 23 but there was no official word on whether the suspension of ticket sales has been extended beyond May 15.

“Hundreds of travel agents across the country have placed substantial deposits with your airline in a credit shell to be used for immediate and future bookings and which currently remain unutilised,” the letter said.

While noting that it will not be possible to refund the passengers unless funds are received from the airline, TAFI said that “refunds be effected as a direct credit to the agents’ bank accounts, rather than being placed in a credit shell”.

On Thursday, aviation regulator DGCA ordered the airline to process the refunds to passengers as per the timelines specifically stipulated in the relevant regulation.

Go First, which suspended flights starting May 3, was operating around 180 to 185 flights every day and carried out 30,000 passengers daily.

Grappling with a severe fund crunch due to the grounding of more than half of its fleet, the Wadia group-owned carrier has filed for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings. After hearing the plea on Thursday, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has reserved its order.

Aircraft lessors have opposed Go First’s petition and many of them have approached the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for deregistration of aircraft leased to the airline.

Source: PTI