Indian airlines and airports incurred an estimated loss of Rs 19,564 crore and Rs 5,116 crore, respectively, in 2020-21 due to severe disruption accused by the COVID-19 pandemic, wrote Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh in his written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Scheduled domestic flights were suspended in India from March 25, 2020 to May 24, 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, added Singh. "The aviation sector in India has been affected due to severe disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," noted the Minister of State.
"The estimated losses incurred by airlines and airports in India in the financial year 2020-21 is approximately Rs19,564 crore and Rs 5,116 crore, respectively," Singh mentioned. Domestic air passenger traffic declined by 0.3 per cent in 2019-20 and by 61.7 per cent in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Singh noted that Air India and SpiceJet have outstanding dues of Rs 2,350 crore and Rs 185 crore respectively to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) as of September this year.
"Some airlines have defaulted on clearance of their dues," Singh said.
The Minister of State noted that charging penal interest, encashment of security deposits along with resorting to legal action were other measures available with the authority to carry out the recovery of dues.
He added that the outstanding dues of Air India, Alliance Air, SpiceJet and Go Air (now called Go First) up to September 2021 was Rs 2,350 crore, Rs 109 crore, Rs 185 crore and Rs 56 crore, respectively.
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