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SpiceJet's woes continue: AAI extends credit facility for 15 days until 31 December

Cash-strapped SpiceJet's troublesseem to be far from over as the AAI has agreed to extendcredit facility to the airline only for 15 days till December31.

"The relief has been given only till December. If theairline does not want to be asked for a payment before flyingin or out of any AAI-run airport in the country, it will haveto show some funds in its account," government sources said.

The airline, which was availing fuel supply by the oilmarketing firms on cash-and-carry mode for the last sixmonths, got a reprieve early this week from both the oilcompanies as well as Airports Authority of India (AAI) afterthe Civil Aviation Ministry stepped-in, requesting them toextend upto 15 days credit facility to avert the airline frombeing shutdown.

SpiceJet's totally liabilities stands at Rs 2,000 croreincluding due to the AAI.

Meanwhile, its operations continued to be hit today withmost of its flights from here and Mumbai getting delayed evenas the airline claimed it was operating full curtailedschedule of 230 flights per day.

"SpiceJet operations continues to be delayed and most ofthe flights have either departed from or arrived late at theDelhi airport," a source said.

Sources said that airline had operated 132 flights till 3pm on Friday of the planned 230 flights under the curtailedschedule, adding yesterday it operated 218 as against 230.On Friday, the airline was able to operate 218 of thescheduled 230 departures, officials said.

SpiceJet, however, in a statement claimed that itsoperations, which were disrupted due to the non-payment ofdues to the oil companies early this week, have returned tonormal and it will operate all 23 0 flights according to theschedule.

The airline also said that it has been operatingadditional services to tourist hubs such as Port Blair and Goasince Wednesday evening to accommodate passengers who wereleft stranded due to the the grounding of its operations fornearly 10 hours on Wednesday.

"SpiceJet is pleased to announce that it is continuing tooperate its full schedule of flights. We have also operatedextra flights since Wednesday evening to accommodatebacklogged passengers in locations such as Port Blair andGoa," the statement said.

Large number of travellers went on a spree cancellingSpiceJet tickets, with many of them shifting to otherairlines, leading to massive jump in air fares."Air fares which had gone to astronomical levels are onceagain coming back to more normal levels after normalcy in ouroperations," SpiceJet claimed.

In another development, the airline is understood to bein talks with various investors to over come the fund drought.Ajay Singh, one of the original promoters of SpiceJet,who later exited from the Company yesterday met with seniorairline officials besides meeting civil aviation ministerAshok Gajapathy Raju.

Though Singh has refused to comment whether he was apotential investor in the airline, industry sources say thatthe SpiceJet could once again come onboard to the savethe airline from going the Kingfisher way and may pump inaround Rs 1,400-,1,500 crore in the ailing carrier.Industrialist Vijay Mallaya's had to ground hisKingfisher Airline in October 2012 for want of funds and hecould not be revived it till today.

Singh, who retained only around 4.5 per cent stake in theairline when the current promoter Kalanithi Maran acquiredSpiceJet in 2010 is said to be planning to increase hisholding to 26 per cent or more, which could fetch thestruggling carrier upto Rs 1,500 crore.

PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 12:39:06 IST

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