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Thursday February 29, 2024

Fuel supplies halted to debt-ridden Air India

By AFP
August 24, 2019

MUMBAI: Air India called Friday for government help after oil companies stopped supplying the debt-ridden national flag carrier with jet fuel at six domestic airports due to late payment of dues. “We have huge outstanding debts and are awaiting equity support from the government to maintain current operational levels,” Dhananjay Kumar, spokesperson of Air India told AFP.

Air India owes three state-run oil firms more than 45 billion rupees ($630 million), Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported on Friday. Oil firms suspended fuel supplies to Air India aircraft at six Indian cities — Pune, Ranchi, Patna, Mohali, Kochi and Vishakhapatnam on Thursday, an official confirmed. The airline was continuing to fly from these six locations by looking at alternative routes and filling up on fuel elsewhere, the spokesman said. He added that despite the firm’s debts, it was “performing well operationally” and would make a profit in the next quarter. The Indian government in 2018 had shelved plans to sell a 76-percent stake in Air India after failing to attract any bidders.