Fuel sellers resume supplies to Air India after part-payment

Oil marketing companies have resumed fuel supplies to Air India after the national carrier promised to clear its over-dues of Rs268 crore by the end of today.

The three state-owned retailers - Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Ltd - had jointly stopped air turbine fuel supplies to Air India at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Trivandrum and Kochi from 4:00 pm on Thursday, leading to flight delays of several hours.

The fuel companies said the airline had failed to make payments even after its 90-day credit period expired.

The companies decided to resume supplies at around 8.30 pm on Thursday after the civil aviation ministry intervened and the carrier paid up Rs180 crore immediately, promising the balance today.

"I have spoken to the petroleum secretary not to disrupt fuel supplies and he has assured this," civil aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi told newspersons this morning.

Zaidi said the struggling carrier had just paid Rs180 crore. Another Rs40 crore would be released on Friday and the remaining Rs40 crore ''soon''.