SpiceJet resumes flights on “cash-and-carry“ fuel

SpiceJet, whose flights remained grounded since this morning, resumed operations in the evening after oil companies agreed to resume fuel supplies to the carrier under a ''cash-and-carry'' arrangement.

The no-frills carrier, which cancelled around 75 flights during the day, said it would operate an equal number of flights after 4 pm with the resumption of jet fuel supplies against cash payment.

SpiceJet chief operating officer Sanjiv Kapoor said flights scheduled to depart on or after 4 pm will operate. It was not clear if the company paid any money to oil companies

"Flights scheduled to depart on or after 4pm today will operate. We apologise again for the disruptions," COO Sanjiv Kapoor tweeted.

SpiceJet operates 31 daily flights from Chennai and none of the 18 flights, which should have departed by about 12.30 pm, had been operated.

Oil companies reportedly began supplying jet fuel to SpiceJet after the airline paid cash for the purchases, but the oil companies denied having stopped fuel supplies to the troubled carrier.

"We never stopped supply fuel. We were supplying fuel to them as late as yesterday late afternoon. They did not come to buy fuel after that and so we did not supply any. They came this afternoon and so we are supplying them," reports quoted a top executive at a public sector oil firm as saying.

SpiceJet used to buy about Rs5.5 crore worth of fuel daily from Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) but six months back it shifted some purchases to Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Reliance Industries.

This has, however, come down after the airline cut back its fleet and started grounding several of its flights.

SpiceJet was forced to ground all of its aircraft since this morning due to non-payment of oil dues despite the aviation ministry giving it 15 days more to make payments to airport operators.