Air India seems to have found itself in a fresh pickle following an ultimatum issued by public sector oil companies, on October 10, asking the airline to make the monthly lump sum payment by October 18, 2019. Failing which, fuel supply to the flag carrier will be stopped at six airports, reported PTI. Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation have expressed concerns to Air India over the non-payment.
According to industry reports, the oil companies had sent a notice on October 4 as well, stating that they would stop the supply by October 11, if the debts weren’t cleared. Air India, then wrote back on October 10, requesting to not cut the supply, post which the oil majors decided to postpone the suspension to October 18.
However, this is not the first time that a situation of this sorts has risen between Air India and public sector oil companies. In September 2018, also, oil companies had threatened to stop Air India’s fuel supply if payments weren’t made.
Meanwhile, government is gearing up to invite bids for Air India privatisation. The airline’s debt grew to over ₹58,000 crore at the end of March 2019.