Indore: The scare of Coronavirus (COVID-2019) has resulted in over 2000 domestic as well as international passengers cancelling their flights every day in the State. Since many of these tickets are non-refundable, the people are also bearing a huge loss.
The aviation sector of the State is reeling under the pressure of the virus and the city, which is the hub of the aviation sector of the State, is the worst affected.
The rapid spread of the deadly disease in over 80 countries and the rising number of suspected cases across the country has spread terror among the passengers who are cancelling their visits.
The cancellation of the events of mass gathering by the different private and government organisations following the instruction of the government has forced the passengers to cancel the international as well as domestic trips.
A top ranking official of the aviation industry informed that after March 10 there was a sudden increase in the number of requests for cancelling of booked tickets by the passengers. On an average 2000 passengers including 1300 domestic and around 700 international passengers are cancelling their tickets every day. Out this, highest number of tickets cancellation are coming from the city, where an average of 300 international and 700 domestic passengers are cancelling their booked tickets every day. Sources expressed fear that in the coming days the number of cancellation of the booked tickets may increase further.
No refunds: The cancellation of booked tickets is hurting the passengers badly as the tickets are non-refundable. The Travel Agents Federation of India’s (TAFI) MP Chapter has taken note of the problem of passengers. TAFI has written a letter to all leading domestic as well international airlines including Air India, IndiGo, GoAir, Air Asia, Spicejet, Lufthansa, Kuwait Air, Singapore Airlines, Mauritius Air to consider giving full refund of the booked tickets, as the passengers are not cancelling the trips due to their personal reasons but owing to global reason.
Air India reduces one flight to Dubai: National Carrier Air India has cut-down operation of its Indore-Dubai-Indore flight from thrice a week to twice. Official sources informed that from next Monday the AI-903 Indore-Dubai flight will be cancelled till April 27 and flight AI-904 Dubai-Indore operating on every Tuesday stands cancelled from March 17 to April 28. As a result, AI’s flight AI-637 Delhi-Indore and AI-638 will also stand cancelled as the same aircraft is used in New Delhi and Dubai flight. The passengers who booked tickets for March 16 Monday flight will be taken to Dubai from either New Delhi or Mumbai. Further bookings for Monday will be stopped.
The scare of COVID-2019 has created a panic among the frequent flyers and casual international and domestic passengers. Average 2000 passengers across Madhya Pradesh including domestic and international are cancelling the booked tickets. I have written a letter to Chairmen, MDs, & CEOs of the prominent airlines to give full refund of the ticket amount or offer them the promissory note to adjust the amount whenever the next time tickets are booked with them. Despite this, the international passengers will have to bear the loss of the visa fee, if the vise duration expires.
-TK Jose, Chairman MP Chapter of Travel Agents Federation of India.