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Travel agents’ body urge Go First to process ticket refunds using money in credit shell – The New Indian Express



MUMBAI: 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 canceled due to the suspension of flights.

Go First has canceled all flights until May 9 and has suspended the sale of tickets until 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 unutilized,” the letter said.

ALSO READ: NCLT reserves order on Go First’s insolvency plea

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

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

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 the deregistration of aircraft leased to the airline.

READ MORE: Go First suspends sale of tickets till May 15; DGCA asks airlines to process refunds for passengers

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