Kingfisher averts showdown with MIAL

Mumbai: The debt-laden Kingfisher Airlines on Saturday averted a major showdown with the Mumbai International Airport (MIAL), which had threatened to ban its operations over a payment default, by clearing the dues towards airport charges.

"We have received a cheque payment for Rs 105.71 crore and with that the issues regarding payment default has been resolved. The airline can operate normally from our airport," Mumbai International Airport President Rajiv Jain told PTI.

The MIAL had earlier this month threatened to prevent Kingfisher Airlines from operating out of its premises from today if the liquor baron Vijay Mallya-promoted carrier did not clear the dues worth Rs 105.71 crore towards airport fees or opt for a cash-n-carry mode of payment.

Phone calls and text messages to Kingfisher did not elicit any response.

Early this week, a senior MIAL official had told this agency that the response that Kingfisher had given to the airport was not satisfactory and that unless the airline cleared the dues by May 14, they would not be allowed to operate.

"Their response is satisfactory. Therefore, we have decided to put them on a cash-n-carry mode from May 14 and if they don`t agree, then they will be banned from operating from our airport," a senior MIAL official had told PTI last Wednesday.

In a letter dated May 7, MIAL had warned Kingfisher of withdrawing credit facility it has been enjoying from December 2010 from May 14 and had sought payments latest by May 25.

Kingfisher had in December promised to clear the dues by February. But its cheque to MIAL, which is promoted by the Hyderabad-based GVK Group, bounced recently.

As per the airport, as on April 30, the airline owed Rs 105.71 crore to it by way of charges for airport services, which include the landing and parking charges.