MUMBAI: The ministry of civil aviation should intervene and have airlines pay refunds to passengers for flight cancellations, said the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) in a letter sent to the government on Monday in which it listed the relief measures to ensure the immediate survival of over 50,000 travel agents and tour operators in India.
Stating that airlines should refund passengers along with waivers and advances of travel agents, TAAI zeroed in on national carrier Air India stating that it has not been waiving cancellation charges as well, while low cost carriers have not been returning “float account advance” balance to agents.
“Customers are demanding cash refunds and not credit vouchers as given by most airlines,” said the TAAI letter sent to the finance ministry, ministry of civil aviation and other government departments.
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TAAI sought funds from the government to cover salaries and establishment costs for six months atleast . “We are expecting a 33.33 % minimum salary contribution by the government,” it said adding that the industry should be given complete waiver of statutory liabilites for the next 12 months like GST and instant Income Tax Holiday effective FY 2019-20 for upto March 2021.
Another issue it raked up was that of banks cutting by half the limits on their credit cards. “Banks have also held back our payments received from customers with them which were made by credit card since February stating that our trade is vulnerable. Our money is held back by the banks our credit card merchant establishments,” said TAAI.
The association said it was hopeful that the government will consider its requests for survival else “we shall have no option but to take steps like that of Mahatma Gandhi ji which shall be detrimental to your government.”

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