The Minister for Civil Aviation Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju informed that his Ministry was committed not only to the growth of the Airline industry but also to ensure that flying for most Indians becomes a pleasant experience. In keeping with this commitment he along with MOS Dr. Mahesh Sharma, presided over a presentation made by DGCA with regard to Passenger Centric Initiatives. In the presentation, the first category of amendments have been made in CARs related to “Refund of Air Tickets”. The Ministry has proposed that the refund process should be completed within 15 working days in case of domestic travel and 30 working days in case of international travel. It also proposed that in case of cancellation of tickets, statutory taxes and user development fee/airport development fee/passenger service fee shall be refunded. The Ministry has also proposed in this category that under no circumstances cancellation shall be more than the basic fair.
In the second category of CARs related to “Denied Boarding, flight cancellation and flight delays”, the Ministry has proposed that an amount equal to 200% of booked one way basic fair plus airline fuel charge subject to maximum of INR 10,000/- would be paid to passengers in case airline arranges alternate flight that is to depart after one hour but within 24 hours of the booked scheduled departure.
In the third category of CARs relating to facilities to be provided to “Persons with reduced mobility”, Airlines shall develop a procedure for making advance request of stretcher and same should be displayed on airline’s website. Airlines, airport operators, security personnel, customs and immigration shall conduct training programme, as per training module provided by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, for all their personnel engaged in passenger services for sensitization and developing awareness for assisting persons with disability or reduced mobility. Foreign carriers operating to/from India shall refund the tickets in accordance with regulations of their country of origin.
With regard to checking baggage charges, the Ministry has proposed that the Airline should restrict additional baggage charge Rs.100 per kg for baggage between 15 to 20 kg.
The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that the Ministry will strive to take Indian Airline Industry to the third position from its present ninth position. He also explained the salient features of the presentation in Hindi.
The proposal will be put up on the Ministry’s website for 15 days during which Stakeholders are free to give their suggestions and comments. After this the Ministry will finalize the proposed amendments and implement them very soon.