PARIS | airlines ask for “knees” help the passengers by accepting assets rather than seek refunds for the cancelled flights during the health crisis, said Wednesday the director general of the international air transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac.
“We ask the help of the passengers (…), it is true, and we ask to his knees,” said Mr de Juniac on BFM Business.
The airlines, supported by France and several other european States, and reimburse the tickets of the cancelled flights only “in the form of assets,” while promising a cash refund if the consumers are asking for it, but with at least nine months of the offset in order to preserve their finances undermined by the crisis. The european rules give yet the passenger the right to a refund in two weeks.
This position of companies in the sector has been under attack by consumer advocates. And Brussels has launched at the beginning of July infringement proceedings against ten european Union countries, including France, to defend the right of travellers to be reimbursed in case of cancellation of their holiday due to the sars coronavirus.
“We are trying to get the european Commission the power to submit assets for (…) withhold the reimbursement,” said Wednesday, Mr. de Juniac, recognizing that it was a position “difficult” and “not appreciated by everyone”.
“Why you asked that? Not for pleasure. Our business is to pamper the passengers and not their present difficulties and problems, especially financial problems. But (…) the cash flow of the companies is in a state of absolutely apocalyptic,” explained the former CEO of Air France-KLM.