Today, October 5, the Antimonopoly Committee discussed the implementation of the law “On Competition” with the participation of the Senate Committee on Budget and Economic Reforms. At the event, the Chairman of the Antimonopoly Committee Najmiddinkhodja Sharipov said that it is against the law not to refund for airfare to customers during the pandemic.
“Usually, air tickets are purchased by consumers much earlier. Because the earlier you buy a ticket for the flight, the cheaper it will be. Basically, a lot of tickets were bought 6 months prior to the travel and getting their money back has become a very topical issue. Air traffic has been canceled since March. It is said that if citizens apply to the airport for a refund of the ticket, a voucher system will be used, i.e., a certain amount of the ticket cost will be refunded, not the whole amount.
The voucher system has been used in European countries as well since the start of the pandemic. The airlines who did not return the money on time were prosecuted. In Russia, airlines have come out with a proposal to the government to switch to a voucher system. This was considered by the government, and a normative document was developed on the order and timing of refunding for tickets.
In our case, the situation remains one-sided. The monopolist company – Uzbekistan Airways JSC responds that they will issue a voucher to customers. They have no legal basis for such an act. In accordance with the laws “On Protection of Consumer Rights” and “On Competition”, we must prosecute Uzbekistan Airways, protecting the rights of consumers. We are doing this now.
This issue needs to be raised to the government level. If Uzbekistan Airways says it suffers financial losses for returning the money to customers, let it prove it with clear analysis, calculations, and take these actions at the government level. If not, the company should return the money to customers immediately,” Sharipov said.