Millennium Post

8 private airlines dodged Rs 220 cr dues to AAI in 2015

Eight private domestic airlines, including most profitable IndiGo and Tata Sons-invested AirAsia India and Vistara, did not pay dues to the tune of Rs 220.16 crore to Airport Authority of India last year, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.

Airlines have to pay a fee for using various facilities/ services such as route navigation, landing and parking among others to the national airports operator AAI. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma told the House that "of the eight carriers, SpiceJet had a maximum outstanding amount of Rs 78.87 crore on this account while another low-cost airline GoAir had to pay dues worth Rs 50.89 crore to the AAI by December last year." 

Mumbai-based full service carrier Jet Airways along with its subsidiary JetLite also had amassed dues to the tune of Rs 47.90 crore, according to Sharma. Gurgaon-based no-frills carrier IndiGo, which reported seventh consecutive year of profitability in the fiscal-end March 31 last year, did not pay Rs 34.81 crore to government-run AAI. 

Other carriers like AirAsia India and Air Costa also had not paid dues worth Rs 3.31 crore and Rs 3.81 crore, respectively, the minister said. Besides, Air Vistara and regional carrier Air Pegasus also had dues of Rs 32 lakh and Rs 89 lakh, respectively, to AAI at the end of December 2015, he said. According to the policy, dues from privately-owned airlines are monitored on a regular basis and in case of delay, AAI issues notices to the airlines to settle the dues, Sharma said.

AAI also charges penal interest at 12 per cent per annum on the delay in the settlement of these bills. In cases where delay persists, besides encashing the security amount, the defaulting airlines are put on cash and carry basis. Legal course of action is followed in case over-dues persist, 
he added.
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