Air Belgium lets passengers and companies down: Failure to refund impacts customers and travel Industry, says ECTAA

The European Fee should take swift and decisive motion to guard the rights and pursuits of passengers and journey corporations serving their clients alike.

BRUSSELS – The Belgian airline Air Belgium introduced on Monday its choice to stop all passenger flights ranging from 3 October 2023. Whereas grappling with the fallout of this sudden
announcement, passengers and journey corporations are left in dismay as Air Belgium fails to course of any refunds for the affected bookings within the IATA Billing and Settlement System. As soon as once more, an airline stopped the refund course of all of the whereas journey brokers are required to remit additional monies for future flights which might be already cancelled.

Air Belgium has initiated a request for a judicial reorganization process, a authorized mechanism designed to freeze its debt and negotiate reimbursement phrases inside a span of 5 years. Belgian media sources counsel that if this plan receives approval from judicial authorities, passengers have to attend as much as one yr for his or her refunds. This blatant disregard for passengers’ rights contradicts the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation (Reg. 261/2004), which mandates that passengers are entitled to a refund inside seven days after a flight cancellation.

“The failure and subsequent cessation of airline operations signify a extreme situation, leaving customers susceptible and financially strained. Since 2017, there have been greater than 140 airline
failures, and the repercussions of those failures have been felt far and broad” stated ECTAA President Frank Oostdam. Passengers who booked journey packages are a lot better protected, however this poses a big burden for tour operators, a lot of that are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Tour operators should safe different tickets for his or her clients, often far more costly on quick discover. On the identical time, they don’t get reimbursed for the unique cancelled flights.

This distortion of competitors within the journey trade has far-reaching penalties and is detrimental to customers. It’s crucial that these urgent points be addressed urgently through the forthcoming revisions of the Package deal Journey Directive and inside the framework of Passenger Rights laws.

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Community the place she is the Editor-in Chief. She can also be accountable for the day by day operation and the monetary coverage. She holds a Bachelor’s diploma in Tourism Enterprise Administration from the Technical College of Athens and a Grasp in Enterprise Administration (MBA) from the College of Wales.

She has a few years of each tutorial and industrial expertise inside the journey trade. She has written/edited quite a few articles in varied tourism magazines.

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