New Delhi: The civil aviation ministry has asked Kingfisher Airlines Ltd to pay Rs44 crore it owes to state-run Airports Authority of India, or AAI, by 1 July, after a Rs23 crore cheque given by the airline bounced, according to two government officials who didn’t want to be named.
Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya met the senior aviation ministry officials on Thursday to discuss the matter.
In a mess: Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
“We have given time till 1st July for the payment to be cleared otherwise we will have to take some stern action,” one of the two government officials said. Both officials didn’t want to be named.
A Kingfisher Airlines spokesman had no immediate comment to make when Mint got in touch with him late on Thursday evening.
The airline has a monthly bill averaging around Rs28 crore payable to AAI for the services it uses at the country’s airports. The payment of Rs44 crore is over and above the Rs100 crore bank guarantee Kingfisher has with AAI.
If the airline is unable to clear the dues, it will be denied any future credit.
This is the second time, in less than a year, that the airline has been asked to clear its dues to the AAI or face action.
In late 2008, the ministry had asked the airline to clear mounting dues to the authority, saying it would otherwise encash its bank guarantee. The airline then gave post-dated cheques to the state-run airport operator.