NEW DELHI – Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet (SG) ran into problems with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) over unpaid dues.

AAI put SG into a ‘cash and carry’ mode through a letter, stating that it must pay in cash from midnight on Thursday to operate to AAI controlled airports.

The letter stated that despite various reminders, the airline failed to clear dues towards parking and landing charges at airports.

SpiceJet Boeing 737-800 special livery “Prega News” at Bangalore Airport. Photo: SpiceJet

AAI Defers Decision

However, the AAI has deferred the decision after a request from the airline. “The Airports Authority of India (has) deferred its decision to put SpiceJet on cash and carry. We continue to have normal operations at all AAI-run airports as before without any impediments,” said an airline spokesperson.

The news comes just a day after the airline reported a net loss of Rs. 934.8 crore for the year 2019-2020 compared to its Rs. 316.1 crore in 2018-2019. It is not the only airline to suffer.

Earlier this month, the AAI also placed national carrier Air India (AI) in ‘cash and carry’ mode for certain airports.

Airbus A330-900 MSN1813 first flight. Photo: Airbus

A Question for Many

Spicejet recently announced that it would be leasing an Airbus A330-900 from Portuguese carrier Hi-Fly to operate flights to Europe as part of India’s repatriation flights.

This would make it the first low-cost carrier in India to operate an Airbus A330-900 twin isle wide-body aircraft. The type will service medium and long-haul flights.

SpiceJet was also selected as the “Indian scheduled carrier” to operate flights between India and the US.

The decision would make it the first low-cost Indian carrier to fly to the US. However, the question remains as to how the airline would manage to maintain a lease and certain commitments set to the government.

With these challenging times. one can only hope for the best.