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Attention Air India fliers! You could miss your flight tomorrow

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  • Attention Air India fliers! You could miss your flight tomorrow

    NEW DELHI: Air India fliers may have to face flight delays or cancellation tomorrow, as the public sector oil marketing companies have threatened to discontinue fuel supplies to the national carrier at six major airports in the country from tomorrow. In a letter to Air India, sent today, the oil companies have said that they will discontinue fuel supplies, if the national carrier does not make ‘lumpsum payments, as has been agreed’ fuel supplies will be stopped to the airline. The oil companies had sent a notice to Air India on October 5, 2019, too. “In the event on non receipt of monthly lumpsum payment, as has been agreed in the meetings held on 26/08/2019 and 04/09/2019, OMCs will be constrained to stop fuel supplies at six major airports effective October 11, 2019,” the missive reads. The airports are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru and would mean that a number of international flights will also be cancelled causing inconvenience to international passengers too. It also adds that the airline has been making daily payments. “It may be noted that the outstanding has not come down considerably in the absence of considerable lumpsum payments,” the missive further reads. When contacted, an airline spokesperson said that they would not comment on the issue. This is not the first time in the past over one month that the oil marketing companies have discontinued fuel supplies to the national carrier, which owes about Rs 5,000 crore to these companies. In August, OMCs had stopped supplying fuel to Air India flights in Pune, Vizag, Cochin, Patna, Ranchi and Mohali. The firms had also threatened to stop supply at Hyderabad and Raipur airports but did not after Air India made commitments to make payments to clear the dues, partly. This discontinuation is after those commitments were not met due to financial problems at Air India, which the government plans to sell. The government is discussing a plan to sell 100% stake in Air India after taking away all its working capital debt. A committee, headed by home minister Amit Shah, is discussing the divestment proposal.