Dozens of passengers set to fly Bhoja Air cancelled their tickets on Saturday and demanded refunds in the wake of the Friday night tragedy that killed over 100 passengers.
By Saturday afternoon, more than two dozen people had asked for refunds from just one sales counter of the airline at Jinnah airport. The company was tight-lipped about the exact number of seat cancellations.
“We have been overwhelmed by people coming here for ticket refunds,” said Muhammad Umair, a sales representative at Bhoja Air’s small booth at the airport.
“I have personally refunded around Rs100,000 since morning. The other salesperson has given back almost the same amount,” he said.
The month-old Bhoja Air is still operating another 130-seat B 737-200 aircraft in a frantic effort to keep the airline operations running and a B 737-400 which can carry around 180 passengers.
Dr Shabbar walked briskly to the sales booth of another private airline after returning his Bhoja Air ticket for Islamabad. “My decision is for obvious reasons. I am worried about my safety. My family is concerned as well.”
Arsalan Akhtar, Bhoja Air’s marketing officer, declined to say how many seats were cancelled. Company spokesperson Jasir Abro could not immediately confirm the numbers either.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2012.