New Delhi: With the government providing a welcome relief to airline companies to repay fuel dues in installments it has now been approached by these companies once again to provide similar relief for airport dues amassed by them.
Reports suggest Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya has taken the lead in writing to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to allow them to clear dues amounting to more than Rs1,000 crore in installments. His initiative comes in the wake of warnings issued by the state-owned airports organisation to these companies to clear their dues by 24 October.
The AAI had warned that failure to clear dues would lead to withdrawal of credit facilities normally extended to airlines.
After a spate of high profile staff sackings and persistent appeals by the civil aviation minister to other ministries to address issues faced by the civil aviation industry, the petroleum ministry formalised a 'relief package' for airlines. Under the package airlines will pay their dues in monthly installments, and also, will have their credit period enhanced to 90 days.
Significantly, after a high-powered meeting with civil aviation minister Praful Patel, oil companies and airline industry representatives, petroleum minister Murli Deora also agreed to have aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices revised every fortnight instead of every month as is the current practice.
Airlines sources confirmed that an approach seeking relief from airport dues had been made to the AAI through the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA).