Air India crisis: Fuel supply stopped at 6 airports

Published: Aug 23, 2019, 12:39 IST | IANS | New Delhi

Supply stopped over non-payment of dues, discussion underway to resolve matter, says officials

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) on Thursday evening stopped fuel supply to national carrier Air India at six airports, following non-payment of dues. The OMCs, led by IndianOil, have stopped jet fuel supply at the Ranchi, Mohali, Patna, Vizag, Pune and Cochin airports.

"Fuel supply by OMCs to Air India has been stopped on Thursday evening due to non-payment of dues. However, we are in touch with the airline and are hopeful of a resolution," a senior IndianOil official told IANS. An airline official told IANS that discussions are underway to resolve the matter and Air India has already paid Rs 60 crore as lumpsum on this account.

"We are in discussion with the OMCs to resolve the issue. Additionally, we have also paid Rs 60 crore for past supplies and made today's (Thursday) payments as well," a senior Air India official said. "Flights have been loaded with return sector fuel to ensure that operation will not get impacted," he added. Currently, jet fuel accounts for the largest chunk of the operating cost for airlines.

"In the absence of equity support Air India cannot handle the huge debt service liabilities," the national carrier’s spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar told IANS."Our financial performance, however, this fiscal is very good and we are moving towards a healthy operating profit. The airline despite its legacy issues is performing very well," he added.

The divestment-bound airline has not been provided with any equity support from the government in 2019-20 to run day-to-day operations.

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