Where the Aerosvit bucks stop

11:54, 14 February 2013
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The bankruptcy of once powerful national air carrier brought troubles not only to passengers and the company’s creditors, but also created a huge mess in the ticket booking system. Andriy Samofalov looked in the situation in a KW article.

Nearly all of Ukraine’s airline ticket sales agencies are facing unforeseen difficulties. The situation with AeroSvit has driven them into a situation where the refund of money to passengers that timely refused to take AeroSvit flights could lead either to the erosion of their circulating assets or a conflict with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Agencies and airlines work directly with each other and use the IATA BSP (Billing and Settlement Plan) system for all payments for e-tickets, which has become highly popular over the last several years. Through this system clients can buy airline tickets on websites or in offices of travel agencies, their money is transferred to BSPlink and then to the airline, which receives all passenger information in electronic format.

The bankruptcy of AeroSvit airlines created a mess in the relations between all sides involved in this process. The nuances of the conflict can be traced to the argument between the leading ticket sales agency Kyi Avia and the IATA representative office in Ukraine, which flared up in the Kyiv Commercial Court. By the way, its result may become a precedent and a guiding light for other travel agencies that may find themselves in a similar situation.

Ordinary travelers that risked using the services of Ukraine’s once largest airline will one way or another have to wait for the natural course of events. At the moment, nobody can say how soon the airline will be able to refund the money for cancelled flights. But from past experience people understand that this procedure will be dragged out for some time. One client of Malev Airlines said the company was declared bankrupt last February and he received his money for the cancelled late last October, which means he waited a long 8 months for his refund. Given this, in the case of AeroSvit’s bankruptcy it would be naïve to presume that the term of refund of unused tickets will be shorter, the author believes.

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