Air India on Tuesday expressed its “regret” over its failure to ensure timely refunds for flight cancellations and rescheduling during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic after the U.S. government ordered it to pay $121.5 million in refunds, along with a penalty of $1.4 million.
“We very much regret that customers were inconvenienced and accept the fine,” the Tata-owned airline said in a statement.
The delayed refunds pertain to the period before the government sold the national carrier to Tata Sons in January this year.
Air India is among the six airlines that have agreed to pay a total of over $600 million as refunds, in addition to penalties imposed on them, the U.S. Department of Transportation said on Monday in a press statement.
The airline also reiterated its public appeal, asking passengers to reach out in case of pending refunds, including those from the period before its privatisation.
The airline has already processed 25,000 cases totalling $18.30 million, apart from implementing new systems to ensure refund requests are fulfilled within a week, it said.