Airlines get time till Mar’09 to clear ATF dues in EMIs

Airlines get time till Mar’09 to clear ATF dues in EMIs


New Delhi: In a relief to Indian carriers troubled by a financial crunch, the government today gave them time till March next year to clear a total fuel bill outstanding of Rs2,962 crore in six equated monthly installments to oil companies.

The carriers have been given extension of their credit period to 90 days as against 60 days at present (applicable till March 2009). Besides, the prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) will henceforth be revised every fortnight in order to adjust to the volatile international crude prices.

The decision was taken at a meeting called by Petroleum Minister Murli Deora with the Federation of Indian Airlines and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel to work out ways to help airlines without hurting interests of oil firms.

“One of the major issues was the dues that the airlines owed to oil public sector units, which needed to be resolved.. and it was becoming a vexed problem," Patel told reporters here.

The country’s airlines had a total outstanding bill of Rs2,926 crore, out of which Rs2,131 crore was defaulted beyond credit period.

Jet Airways has an outstanding of Rs1,576 crore, out of which Rs321 crore is beyond credit limit. Kingfisher Airlines has a due of Rs983 crore of which Rs924 is beyond the credit period.

National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL), which does not have any credit period has an outstanding of Rs886 crore.