AI makes part payment, receives fuel from OMCs

Chennai: Oil marketing companies (OMCs) had been reported to have halted fuel supply to debt-ridden Air India due to the national carrier slipping payments. However, recent reports have clarified that fuel supplies won’t be stopped as the carrier has paid its dues in part.

The report quoted an Air India official saying, “AI was to pay Rs 100 crore to the oil marketing companies on Monday morning as payment for fuel uplifted over the weekend. When they did not get the same by afternoon, the stop-supply order for right places was issued. But after 1 pm they got the payment and our aircraft are getting fuel without disruption.”

It may be noted that the oil companies issued an ultimatum to the airline last month saying that if the airline does not pay the pending dues of Rs 5,000 crore, their fuel supply will be suspended. According to a PTI report, Air India buys fuel worth Rs 600 crore monthly from Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Limited.

Earlier this year, another report quoted a senior executive of a state-run oil company saying, “Air India is a PSU and that’s why we are continuing to supply. Had it been a private firm, we could have already stopped the supply.”

The report further cited an official saying that the airline is unable to pay due to financial problems. So far the central government has infused almost Rs 980 crore into the ailing airline.

In a separate report earlier, it was mentioned that Air India had issued a series of directives to cut costs jet fuel prices were hiked by 7.3 per cent. The directives aimed at smartening up its employees. MoS for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha recently said the revival package for the debt-laden national carrier will be announced soon.

NT Bureau