As per AAI’s internal documents, AirAsia India's dues to the AAI increased from Rs 1.47 crore in January 2020 to Rs 3.58 crore in October 2021.

AirAsia India flight
Money Aviation Wednesday, December 29, 2021 - 14:44

AirAsia India said on Wednesday it has paid all its dues to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the airline was making all payments as per credit terms on due dates from September 2021. PTI had on December 26 reported that AirAsia India's dues to the AAI increased from Rs 1.47 crore in January 2020 to Rs 3.58 crore in October 2021, as per AAI's internal documents.   

An airline has to pay for air navigation, landing and parking among others to the AAI, which is under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, to use facilities at its airports, numbering more than 100. AirAsia India spokesperson told PTI on Wednesday, "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 on date." 

Operational costs always increase in proportion to the number of flights operated and guests flown, the spokesperson mentioned. "In this period, from September to today, we have paid out Rs 59 crore within the due dates as per the policy of the Airports Authority," the spokesperson added. 

India's six major domestic carriers -- IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, AirAsia India, Air India and Vistara -- owed the AAI Rs 2,306.59 crore as on January 1, 2020, the AAI documents, accessed by PTI, stated.

These dues swelled by 14.29 per cent to Rs 2,636.34 crore by October 31, 2021, the documents mentioned.

AirAsia India expects full passenger traffic as well as capacity recovery in 2022 sans a third COVID wave triggered via the Omicron variant.

In a conversation with IANS, Ankur Garg, Chief Commercial Officer, AirAsia India cited that overall airline industry is operating at 83 per cent pre-COVID levels and the traffic has been recovering at a fast rate.

"Festive period beginning October saw a significant bounce back in passenger traffic which is continuing till the year-end."

Besides, he cited that 'Visiting Friends and Relatives' (VFR) segment was the earliest to recover as people overcame inhibitions and travelled starting from Dussehra in October.

"There has been a steady uptick in leisure travel as well, particularly in leisure destinations on our network like Goa, Srinagar, Jaipur, Kochi, where there is a strong directionality in traffic around holidays and extended weekends indicating that people are travelling for leisure."

"During the month of November, we have also seen an improvement in corporate traffic as 'Work From Home' mandates are being lifted gradually and people are returning to a full or partial 'Work From Office' model.”

According to Garg, relaxation in capacity restrictions and a gradual improvement in the economy has accelerated the demand for air travel.

"However, the sustainability of the same would depend on the pandemic situation and economic recovery going forward."

With PTI and IANS inputs

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