Kingfisher has a debt of over Rs 7,000 crore to a consortium of 17 banks led by SBI.
Amid bounding of cheques and failure to fulfil its commitments on clearing the dues, Airport Authority of India (AAI) on Tuesday said it wanted a firm commitment from the grounded Kingfisher Airlines on the payment of Rs. 390 crore dues before the airline is allowed to take wings once again.
"Our dues are more than Rs. 390 crore, inclusive of penal interests. So we are asking a firm commitment in that because so far, what they have committed could not be honoured. We are asking for a firm commitment on the payment of the dues. There is news that they are planning to fly again but no concrete proposal has been put forward on dilution of our dues," AAI chairman V.P. Aggarwal said on the sidelines of function in New Delhi.
Asked if AAI would settle for part payment, Mr. Aggarwal said: "We already have some cheques from Kingfisher. One cheque of Rs. 117 crore could not be encashed. That's an issue and the remaining amount was not covered and does not have any sort of guarantee. They have to give some guarantee. Bank cheques were presented but they bounced. A legal issue is going on," he added.
Asked whether seizure of Kingfisher aircraft due to non-payment of dues was affecting the interests of lessors and was a violation of the Cape Town
Convention, Mr. Aggarwal said he did not agree that it was a problem as far as Convention was concerned. "We will soon have a meeting with Secretary on the issue soon," he remarked.
Mr. Aggarwal said several of Kingfisher's planes have been seized by airport operators or the Service Tax Department and parked at various airports till the airline cleared its dues. Last Tuesday, the lenders to the airline, which number as many as 17 banks which together had extended Rs. 7,000 crore to the company, had resolved to recall their loans to the airline, which had been grounded since October one last, saying more than enough time was given to the management to revive the crippled airline.