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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kingfisher Airlines can’t fly on ‘cash-and-carry’ basis

Despite revival plan,Kingfisher still faces many problems before its planes start flying again.

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Published: April 11, 2013 5:52:06 pm

Airports Authority of India (AAI) has made it clear that it would not allow Kingfisher Airlines to operate on ‘cash and carry’ basis till the grounded carrier cleared its dues amounting to almost Rs 400 crore.

In its revival plan submitted to aviation regulator DGCA yesterday,the cash-strapped airline is understood to have said that it has requested the AAI to allow them to fly on cash-and-carry basis,that is pay for the services as and when the airline avails of them.

AAI sources said that Kingfisher could be allowed to operate on a cash-and-carry mode only after it clears Rs 390 crore dues to the state-run airports body.

Confirming this,AAI Chairman V P Aggarwal told PTI here that Kingfisher would have to clear its dues first before its request could be considered.

However,”we have not received any letter or any such request from them as yet”,Aggarwal said.

Earlier,he had said the airline owed over Rs 390 crore,including penal interests,to the AAI.

“Our dues are more than Rs 390 crore,inclusive of penal interests. So we are asking a firm commitment in that because so far,what they have committed could not be honoured. We are asking for a firm commitment on the payment of the dues,” the AAI chairman had said a few weeks ago.

He had then also said that though the airline had given some cheques last year,”one cheque of Rs 117 crore could not be encashed. The remaining amount was not covered and does not have any sort of guarantee. They have to give some guarantee. The cheques were presented but they bounced. A legal issue is going on”.

After remaining grounded for over six months,Kingfisher yesterday sought regulatory approvals to relaunch its operations and submitted plans to the DGCA on infusion of funds and revival of its flights.

DGCA sources said they would examine the plan thoroughly before taking a call.

Kingfisher,which owes an estimated Rs 13,582 crore tobanks,its staff,airport operators and oil companies,has reported a net loss of Rs 755.17 crore for the third quarter ending December 31 last year.

This was a period in which it did not operate a single flight as it remained grounded since October 1 and its flying permit,suspended that month,expired in December.

Along with its dues to AAI and other service providers,Kingfisher has a debt of over Rs 7,000 crore to a 17-bank consortium led by SBI which alone has the maximum exposure of over Rs 1,600 crore in the Vijay Mallya-led airline.

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