With hardly a couple of months for Air India to get formally inducted into Star Alliance, the Mumbai airport operator has put the national carrier on cash-and-carry mode as dues mounted to over Rs450 crore.
Cash-and-carry means that the airline will have to make payments upfront, before it can use any services of the airport, which is run by Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL). The airport management has reportedly communicated its decision to the Air India leadership on the issue. "Air India has been put on cash-and-carry mode as it failed to clear the dues," a source in MIAL said. The carrier has been told to pay at least Rs200 crore by next month if it wants to be taken off the cash-and-carry mode. According to MIAL sources, the total dues of Air India now stand at over Rs450 crore.
Air India on the other hand, said that Rs100 crore and Rs650 crore have been paid to Mumbai and Delhi airports respectively during the financial year 2013-14, of which Rs50 crore was paid last month. "MIAL owes Air India a certain amount. They have also not handed us several facilities which were assured to us by MIAL," said an airline spokesperson.