Mumbai airport has sent a letter to the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines to clear its dues or vacate the airport.

Sources told Business Line that the airline owes the airport about Rs 50 crore. They say this is a warning letter and not an eviction notice yet.

According to Mumbai airport communication, unless the airline pays its outstanding dues, it could be asked to vacate the offices and other space in Mumbai airport.

A consortium headed by the GVK Group is undertaking the modernisation of Mumbai airport.

Kingfisher Airlines has suspended its operations since October 1. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had suspended its operating licence on October 20.

Recently the airline promoter, Vijay Mallya, met the DGCA and indicated that an investor is likely to be announced before December 31 when the licence comes up for renewal.

PTI reports:

The Mumbai Service Tax Department has impounded a Kingfisher Airlines’ aircraft for defaulting tax dues worth Rs 63 crore.

“We have seized one ATR aircraft of Kingfisher Airlines as the carrier has failed to clear our dues,” Mumbai Service Tax Commissioner S.K. Solanki told PTI.

The beleaguered airline owes around Rs 190 crore to the Service Tax Department, of which Rs 127 crore are under litigation.

The Vijay Mallya-owned carrier today said it has received a notice from the Service Tax Department to which it has already responded.

“Since the aircraft is taken by Kingfisher purely on operating lease basis and the airline is only a lessee of the aircraft (not the owner), it does not feature as an asset in the books of accounts of Kingfisher,” the airline said.

Kingfisher has been grounded since October 1 following a strike by its pilots and engineers over non-payment of salary dues and its flying licence has been suspended.

The cash-strapped airline is also facing eviction from Mumbai airport for Rs 22 crore dues towards parking and navigational charges.

(This article was published on December 11, 2012)
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