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Covid-19: Germany Suspends Refund Obligation of Airlines for Canceled Flights

Photo source: BARIG

Photo source: BARIG

The so-called “Corona-Cabinet” of the German Federal Government recently decided to temporarily suspend the reimbursement obligation for flights canceled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The regulation advocated by the Federal Government sees that direct repayments to consumers be made only in cases of hardship. In all other cases, customers shall receive vouchers valid until 31 December 2021. Customers not redeeming the voucher by that date shall then receive a refund.

According to the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG), the decision is a fair solution for all parties involved.

“This regulation will benefit customers, the travel industry and the aviation industry,” said BARIG Secretary General Michael Hoppe.

As underlined by BARIG, the Covid-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented threat to the entire aviation and travel industry, as airlines are compelled to cancel their flights virtually altogether.

According to BARIG, if the airlines had to reimburse these crisis-related cancellations in full, most of them would go out of business.

“The drastic repercussions of the Corona-crisis for aviation have already been felt and would continue to have dramatic consequences for jobs, economic power, mobility, trade and the transport of goods far into the future,” Hoppe said.

BARIG’s secretary general said that the measure can contribute significantly to preventing a European collapse of the aviation and travel industry, which seemed inconceivable until recently.

“Therefore, we count on the leading role of the EU to implement this fair regulation quickly and unbureaucratically for all of Europe in the interest of citizens, the economy and the affected companies,” he added.

BARIG represents the interests of more than 100 national and international airlines in scheduled, charter, low cost and air cargo business.

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