Mumbai, Jun 23: After a number of cheques issued by Kingfisher airlines bounced, a consortium led by GVK, India's second largest airport operator, has approached court praying legal action against the airline, reports ‘The Economic Times'.
Kingfisher Airlines owes Rs 60 crore to Mumbai International Airport Ltd, or MIAL. The dues are mainly on account of non-payment of charges like parking, landing and navigation for over a year now.
During the year, the airline issued cheques worth Rs 30 crore, but none was honoured, according to sources.
Sources said MIAL filed a suit in a Mumbai civil court last week when a cheque for Rs 5 crore issued by Kingfisher Airlines bounced. "This has been going on for a while and the airport operator thought the time has come to take legal action," said an MIAL source who did not want to be identified.
ET's email queries to both MIAL and Kingfisher did not elicit a response.
This is the first time an airport operator has taken the cash-strapped airline to the courts over non-payment of dues. In the past, the Airports Authority of India - to whom the airline owes Rs 272 crore (according to information provided by Civil Aviation Minster Ajit Singh to Parliament) - had threatened to take legal action. Kingfisher also owes Rs 80 crore to GMR-operated Delhi International Airport.
Analysts tracking the sector said MIAL's decision to adopt legal means is because they have run out of all options to amicably recover the dues. "Airport operators such as GVK will stake a claim for dues in case such a need arises," said Sonam Udasi, head of research, IDBI Capital.