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Delhi High Court Directs SpiceJet To Up Their Offer To AAI On Rs.158 Cr-Worth Air Traffic Dues

Shreya Agarwal
4 Dec 2020 9:10 AM GMT
Delhi High Court Directs SpiceJet To Up Their Offer To AAI On Rs.158 Cr-Worth Air Traffic Dues
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The Delhi High Court on Friday directed commercial airline SpiceJet to give a better offer to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) with respect to its payment plans of dues worth Rs. 158 crores on Air Traffic invoices due since 2015 and Rs. 82 crore worth interest accrued on the due amount. Sr. Adv. Nayyar on behalf of SpiceJet agreed, and said, "We will give them a better...

The Delhi High Court on Friday directed commercial airline SpiceJet to give a better offer to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) with respect to its payment plans of dues worth Rs. 158 crores on Air Traffic invoices due since 2015 and Rs. 82 crore worth interest accrued on the due amount.

Sr. Adv. Nayyar on behalf of SpiceJet agreed, and said, "We will give them a better offer, just don't want any precipitate action," upon which the Delhi High Court told AAI to not take any action on the Bank Guarantees till SpiceJet shows its offers.

The Court observed, "We don't want another airline going bust right now."

The Single Judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla was hearing a case by the airline against the AAI seeking to encash its bank guarantee towards the repayment of the claimed due amount. The AAI has claimed that against outstanding traffic dues of Rs. 157.16 crores and interest of Rs. 82.19 crores, SpiceJet has submitted payment plan of Rs. 20 crores only.

AAI stated that these Traffic Invoices were outstanding beyond the credit period and that SpiceJet had not responded despite repeated reminders.

Sr. Adv. Rajiv Nayyar appearing SpiceJet submitted that this was due to its business being hit on account of Covid-19 related travel restrictions and that the dispute was only in relation to the interest amount claimed. He further submitted that the airline has already submitted a proposal for payment plan yesterday.

AAI confirmed that they had received a proposal, but clarified that the amount of Rs. 158 cr was due since 2015, as against the impression created by SpiceJet that the due was accumulated during the Covid-period.

Justice Chawla then said, "The impression we have got is that this amount is due for the Covid period," and giving SpiceJet a chance to settle the dues, said "Why don't you give them a better offer? We will not take any action till then."

Highlighting the financial stress faced across the sector, AAI submitted that, it didn't want don't want another case like the Kingfisher Airlines, and that SpiceJet had not even given Rs. 100 cr security cover as demanded by AAI. Counsel for AAI also argued that Covid-19 related stress applied to other airlines like Indigo and Vistara as well, and that AAI itself had taken loan worth nearly Rs. 15,000 crores.


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