Sunday, August 25, 2019

Debt-ridden Air India looks up to government to clear Rs 5,000 crore dues

New Delhi: National carrier Air India, which owes close to Rs 5,000 crore in unpaid fuel bills to three state-owned oil firms, is said to have approached the government for funds to clear dues.

With payments being delayed by almost seven months, oil marketing companies (OMCs) Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp stopped jet fuel (ATF) supplies to Air India at six airports, namely Kochi, Pune, Patna, Ranchi, Visakhapatnam and Mohali on Thursday.

“We have approached the government to provide some grant to clear the arrears. We are hopeful of receiving funds soon, as our financial performance has been very decent this ongoing year and we are moving towards a healthy operating profit,” said an Air India official.

It is unclear whether the Maharaja would clear all its dues to OMCs in one go or reach a settlement to clear the same in small tranches. The carrier had offered to pay Rs 60 crore to OMCs, which OMC executives said is a drop in the ocean of what is due.

“The joint decision to stop fuel supply to Air India from six airports was taken by the OMCs in the wake of long-overdue payments to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore. This includes the interest accrued on outstanding dues,” an IOC executive said in a statement.
24/08/19 New Indian Express
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