After the bankruptcy of Air Belgium, lEctaa (the European Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators) reports in a note that, once again, travel agents are required to remit money to airlines . The airline, in serious financial crisis, announced the cancellation of all flights scheduled from October 3. However, it is currently unable to reimburse flight passengers.
The association denounces that Air Belgium: “has initiated a request for judicial reorganization procedure, a legal mechanism intended to freeze its debt and negotiate repayment terms within five years. If the plan is approved, passengers will have to wait a year or more to get their refund. This contradicts the EU regulation on air passenger rights, which states that passengers are entitled to a refund seven days after flight cancellation.
Frank Oostdam, the association’s president, said: “Bankruptcy and the subsequent cessation of airline operations represent a serious problem, particularly for vulnerable and financially distressed consumers. There have been more than 140 carrier failures since 2017, and the impact of these failures has been enormous.
Added to the issue of reimbursement is that of rerouting for those who have purchased travel packages with flights included, who often find themselves having to pay very high sums for alternative flights.
The association therefore calls on the European Commission for “rapid and decisive action to protect the rights and interests of passengers and operators”.