Vijayawada-based low-cost airline Air Costa has not refunded its flyers after temporarily suspending operations in a surprise move in February. The airline had taken the decision on facing financial issues with its lessors. The company was operating in eight cities -- Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Tirupati, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam -- since October 2013.
"In March, I was asked to cancel the tickets as Air Costa suspended its operations. They promised to refund the full amount in 15 days. I have approached the grievance cell of the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) which forwarded the mail to the nodal officer of Air Costa, but there has been no response," said a passenger, who had booked two tickets from Ahmedabad to Bengaluru, told the Times of India.
It is the second airline in India to ground its operation this year after Bengaluru-based Air Pegasus.
Air Costa's website and customer care helpline have also stopped working after their discontinuation of services. This had forced customers to post complaints on online consumer forums.
"We have sent several reminders and every time they revert seeking 15-days' time. It's more than three months since the cancellation has happened and we still haven't got Rs 29,820 (to and fro flight charges for 4 persons)," a passenger wrote on a website.
According to the president of Air Passengers Association of India, customers who are facing inconveniences from such airlines should come together and approach the court for failing to repay the flyers' money.
"We have limited powers to take action since the airline is not operational however we have already suspended its flying licence," a DGCA official said.