SpiceJet’s two-fold plan for clearing AAI dues

SpiceJet’s two-fold plan for clearing AAI dues

SpiceJet has proposed bringing down the principal amount due to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) below 75% of the bank guarantees by the end of March 2021. The airline has also agreed to clear the entire interest debt or increase the bank guarantees by then.

As per AAI's credit policy, it can encash the bank guarantees if the total dues of an airline are above 75% of the bank guarantees.

A reputed media source had reported that the no-frills carrier owed approximately Rs 147 crore as principal amount and Rs 78 crore as interest. AAI has a bank guarantee of (approximately) only Rs 155 crore.

An official told a prominent media source that as a part of its two-fold plan, SpiceJet would bring the principal amount below the 75% threshold and clear the interest amount entirely or provide additional bank guarantees before the end of the fiscal.

This is subject to the approval of the AAI board and the Delhi High Court.

In June 2020, AAI had put SpiceJet on cash-and-carry mode for a daily fee of Rs 1.1 crore. SpiceJet submitted a two-year-long payment plan which AAI did not accept, after which it proposed to encash the bank guarantees.

In December 2020, SpiceJet applied for an additional loan of Rs 500 crore and requested a one-time debt restructuring of its total dues. According to banking sources, a decision based on SpiceJet's rating will be taken before this month-end.

Lenders, auditors, and stakeholders have been concerned about SpiceJet's extremely weak financial health. Between Q2 FY15 and Q2 FY21, the airline operator's total liabilities have jumped by a whopping 223%, as per a review of the airline's financial statement.

In September 2014, SpiceJet's total liabilities were Rs 4,457 crore. Its current and non-current liabilities were Rs 2,982 crore and Rs 1,475 crore, respectively.

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