Stringent reforms on the horizon for Indian airlines

24 Jun 2010

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India has urged airlines to compensate travellers for delays and cancellations due to frequent complaints received. The proposal is being discussed by the DGCA and may require airlines to compensate passengers between Rs2,000 (US$42) and Rs4,000 (US$87) or refund the ticket value, whichever is lesser.

The proposal, set out in a draft Civil Aviation Rule (CAR), aims to strengthen passengers’ rights, but suggests that there will be exceptions to the rule: airlines will not need to pay compensation if cancellations or delays are due to political instability, natural disasters, civil wars, insurrection or riot, flood, explosions, government regulation, strikes or labour disputes and delays attributed to Air Traffic Control.

However,  compensation will not be provided for passengers who do not provide complete contact details and "no-show" passengers will be fined.

The DGCA revealed that more than 1,500 complaints for poor services were filed against domestic carriers in May alone, a large number of which were directed at Jet Airways. The data also showed that nearly 2 percent of total flights in May were cancelled for various reasons, prompting the aviation body to institute the proposed reforms to improve service standards of the Indian airline industry. 

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Alisha Haridasani

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