New Delhi: Air India has cleared a large chunk of its dues to GMR-led operators of Delhi and Hyderabad airports, with the latest instalment of Rs 415 crore being paid a few days ago. "It is heartening for us to note that Air India has made large payments over the last two months to clear the outstanding dues to the GMR Group. We are hopeful that Air India will clear the remaining dues in an expeditious manner to reach a regular payment status," a GMR spokesperson said.
GMR leads the two joint ventures - Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) and GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited - which operate the two major airports. The charges include the dues owing to landing, navigation and parking charges.
The national carrier paid the first tranche of Rs 106 crore in December in 2012, which was followed by the second tranche of Rs 415 crore. Of the latest payment, Rs 340 crore is on account of the airline's operations at Delhi airport, the remaining Rs 75 crore is for the Hyderabad airport.
Air India is likely to pay up the remaining amount of Rs 375 crore "in the next two-three months" after the general budget grants it more funds, official sources said. The national carrier has received Rs 2,000 crore from the government, as promised by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the 2012 winter session of Parliament.
Air India plans to use the money to clear its dues first to all the private airport operators, oil companies and then paying Productivity Linked Incentives (PLI) dues to its employees, the sources said, adding "we are planning to clear all dues to airports and oil companies till April."
The airline was expected to receive Rs 10,000 crore in 2012-13 but got only Rs 6,000 crore, they said, adding that they were confident that Air India would receive the remaining Rs 4,000 crore in upcoming budget, apart from the 2014's allocation.