Soon after news surfaced stating that AirAsia India’s credits to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) doubled for the tenure from January 2020 to October 2021, AirAsia India said it had cleared all dues. The airline said that it was making all payments according to the credit terms on due dates from September 2021.
According to PTI, AirAsia India’s credit to AAI increased from Rs 1.47 crore in January 2020 to Rs 3.58 crore in October 2021.
“We have paid all our dues as per the contract with AAI. We are making all payments as per credit terms on due dates from September, and there are no dues as of date,” a spokesperson of AirAsia India said PTI.
From September to date, the airline has paid out Rs 59 crores as per the credit terms of the Airports Authority of India.
Airlines are bound to make payments to AAI to use airports’ facilities, including air navigation, landing, and parking. The operational costs increase the proportion to the number of flights operated and guests flown.
Based on an internal document of AAI, PTI said that six major airlines – AirAsia India, IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet, Vistara and GoAir – have pending dues amounting to a total of Rs 2,306.59 crore as of January 1, 2020. These dues increased 14.29%, reaching a sum of Rs 2,636.34 crore by October 31, 2021.
Indian aviation industry is recovering faster
The aviation industry in India underwent a period of crisis due to pandemic, which resulted in major dues to AAI. After re-opening the services, the sector is recovering faster, with passenger traffic resuming to pre-COVID 19 days. On festive days of October, during Diwali, airlines witnessed a surge in the number of passengers. Currently, Christmas and New Year celebrations add to this increasing trend. However, the new COVID-19 variant Omicron may prove detrimental to the industry in the upcoming months.
After the pandemic days, people choose air travel for leisure trips. Work from home also started to end, which paved the way to a resumption of corporate executives travelling back to cities to join offices. The sustainability of the recovery will majorly depend on the country’s Omicron situation.