Mumbai: The nation’s largest carrier by market value,Jet Airways (India) Ltd, and rival, Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, together owed Rs1,500 crore to state-run refiners, civil aviation minister Praful Patel said.
Jet Airways owed Rs689 crore to refiners as of 31 March, the minister told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The dues of Kingfisher were Rs808 crore, while the state-owned National Aviation Co. of India Ltd, which operates Air India, owed Rs542 crore, Patel said.
In October, the government gave the airlines time until 31 March to pay their dues as the authorities sought to ease pressure on the carriers amid mounting losses and declining travel demand. Air India, the national carrier, delayed June salaries by 15 days as it struggles with a cash shortage and last year’s losses of Rs5,000 crore.
Refiners were allowed to form separate agreements with the carriers after 31 March. The civil aviation ministry has asked the airlines to negotiate with refiners to resolve the matter of dues, Patel said.
In case of default in payment of dues by airlines, oil marketing companies take action for recovery of dues in line with the mutually agreed commercial terms, Patel said. The defaulting airlines are also put on a cash-and-carry basis for fuelling, he said.
India’s domestic passenger traffic declined 12.5% to 9.8 million in the first three months of the year, according to the government.