Two airplanes belonging to the financially crippled Kingfisher Airlines have been impounded in Mumbai over the last three days by the tax department as the airline has failed to pay service tax dues of Rs63 crore. A notice issued by the service tax department further states that the airline has additional outstanding dues of about Rs128 crore.
''We have impounded one aircraft while the second one is in the process of detention,'' said Sushil Solanki, the Mumbai commissioner of service tax. He added that the department has informally directed the airline not to move three more planes, as they too might be impounded.
The airline can't lease the aircraft or use them to raise any revenue. This will add to the cash-strapped airline's problems in resuming services.
A Kingfisher spokesperson said, ''We have told the department that the airline is a lessee of the impounded airplanes. Since the airline does not own the aircraft, it can claim compensation against losses incurred because of the department order.''
According to reports, the aircraft already impounded a 62-seat ATR, which was seized on Saturday.
Mumbai airport authorities have also threatened to issue an eviction notice after the carrier failed to respond to an earlier notice asking it to clear the Rs22 crore in dues for parking and navigation charges.