National carrier Air India owes over Rs. 4,064 crore in outstanding jet fuel (ATF) bill to state-owned oil companies, the largest overdue payment by any domestic carrier.
Of the total outstanding of Rs. 4,064.77 crore, a sum of Rs. 2,571.73 crore is overdue payment, the Rajya Sabha was informed today. Unlike private airlines, Air India has not provided any security to cover for its outstanding.
Air India, the unprofitable state-owned carrier, owes Rs. 2,393.79 crore to Indian Oil Corp (IOC), of which Rs. 1,698.79 crore is overdue payment, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaaka Lakshmi said in a written reply.
It owes another Rs. 636.04 crore to Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Rs. 1,034.94 crore to Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).
Jet Airways owes Rs. 958.46 crore to IOC but of this only Rs. 35.46 crore is overdue payment. The rest is under 90-day credit period that oil companies extend to Jet and other airlines including Air India.
Lakshmi said Jet ownes Rs. 111 crore to BPCL, of which Rs. 30.84 crore is overdue.
Jet has covered its outstanding with IOC with a Rs. 923 crore bank security which can be encashed in case of default in payment. The outstanding of BPCL has been covered by a Rs. 160 crore security.
Kingfisher ran an outstanding of only Rs. 79.74 crore with HPCL. Of this only Rs. 14.38 core is overdue. It has given a Rs. 15.05 crore bank guarantee plus a Rs. 200 crore corporate guarantee to cover for its fuel outstanding, she said.
HPCL has steadily encashed bank guarantees provided by Kingfisher to recover its dues.
Go Airlines had all of its Rs. 99.56 crore outstanding with IOC more than covered with a Rs. 115 crore bank guarantee. Spice Jet too had its Rs. 91.03 crore outstanding covered with a Rs. 95 crore bank guarantee.
"In case airlines fail to pay their dues, oil marketing companies take action for recovery of dues in line with the mutually-agreed commercial terms between them and the Airlines," she said adding the oil firms put defaulters on 'cash-and-carry' and recover overdue payment by encashing bank guarantee.
Also, oil firms seek post-dated cheques for outstanding dues and file suit in court against defaulting airlines, she said.