- Air India owes money to three state-owned oil firms around Rs. 4,500 crore in unpaid fuel bills with payment being delayed by almost seven months.
- All the three retailers wrote to Air India one week back seeking the clearance of the dues or else they will be forced to take actions.
Air India owes money to three state-owned oil firms around Rs. 4,500 crore in unpaid fuel bills with payment being delayed by almost seven months forcing the organizations to stop the supplies.
On Thursday afternoon, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporate Limited (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporate Limited (BPCL) stopped Jet Fuel or ATF supplies to Air India at six airports- Pune, Kochi, Patna, Ranchi, Mohali over payment default.
“Air India has a 90 day credit period, which means they have to make payment for fuel they buy today by November 21. But they have not made any previous payment and the credit period is now over by 200 days,” a senior official at one of the three state-owned oil firms said.
The total amount of the unpaid dues to three fuel retailers stand at close to Rs. 4,500 crore.
Air India has to pay Rs. 60 crore which is just a small amount that they owe another official of one of the retailers said this.
All the three retailers wrote to Air India one week back seeking the clearance of the dues or else they will be forced to take actions.
” We stopped the supplies because Air India failed to give a clear roadmap to clear the debt which forced us to stop supplies” the official said.
One of the officals said that Oil Firms have no support from the government while Air gets all the financial support.
“Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) pricing was deregulated in April 2002. And from then we have to run the business operations without any subsidy support from the governemnt,” he said.
Currently, the government is providing subsidy only on LPG to help roll out its ambitious Ujjwala scheme of providing free cooking gas connections to poor. There is also a subsidy on kerosene supplied through the public distribution system (PDS).
On Thursday around 4 pm, A senior Air India official said the oil firms stopped fuel suppliers to the airline at Cochin, Mohali, Ranchi, Visakhapatnam, Pune, and Patna.
Air India spokesperson had on Thursday said that in the absence of equity support, Air India is unable to cope up with the huge debt service liabilities.
“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 had added.
Air India has a debt of over ₹58,000 crore.