Fliers booked to travel on Kingfisher Airlines flights continue to be worried as the Mumbai airport will allow the airline to operate its flights only if it pays Rs50 lakh every day.
On Friday, the cash-strapped airline paid the Mumbai airport the first instalment of Rs50 lakh to get permission to operate its flights from the city on Saturday.
“Now the airline will have to pay this amount every day to continue operations,” said a Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) official requesting anonymity, as the person is not authorised to speak to the media.
The amount payable by the airline is the airport’s landing fee and aircraft parking charges. The airline has been put on cash-and-carry mode as it has defaulted on the payment for the past six months.
The airline owes the Mumbai airport Rs90 crore for the past six months, according to a notice sent by MIAL to Kingfisher on Thursday,
“The Rs50 lakh daily payment by the airline was calculated by adding previous dues and current charges,” the MIAL official said.
The airport operator on Friday also issued notice to the airline over bounced cheques. Sources said cheques worth Rs85 crore issued by Kingfisher had bounced.
Kingfisher Airlines said it would operate all flights as per schedule.
“We would like to reassure our guests that all our flights will continue to operate as normal as per the revised schedule published on our website,” read a statement by the airline.
Travel agents said they had begun receiving anxious calls for fliers but not many have cancelled their bookings yet.
“People have been asking if it is safe to book with Kingfisher, but as the airline is offering discounted fares, tickets sales have not been hampered,” said Anup Kanuga, owner, Bathija Travels.