Spicejet Flights Not Allowed To Fly Because Of Pending Payments At Delhi Airport
Multiple SpiceJet planes were kept from operating at the Delhi airport by Air Traffic Control.
Passengers Forced To Wait
The reason was failure to make the requisite daily payment to the Airport Authority of India.
Almost twelve SpiceJet take-offs were delayed in the early hours of Friday by as much as 90 minutes.
ATC, which is an arm of AAI, was instructed not to give clearance to the airline’s aircraft to take-off as the payment was not made.
Daily Payments Required For Airport Use
AAI has put SpiceJet on “cash and carry” mode since 2020, due to its inability to clear airport dues.
Cash and carry mode suggests that AAI withdrew the credit facility as SpiceJet was unable to clear dues.
As a result they have to make daily payments, cash up front, for various charges — navigation, landing, parking, and others — to operate flights.
Airlines with weak financials and also significant dues are routinely put on cash-and-carry by oil and airport companies.
The normal practice is airlines paying monthly charges to airport operators.
Technical Glitch Caused The Hold-Up
A SpiceJet spokesperson said that the daily payment failed due to a technical glitch in SAP- the software through which it pays.
They explained that the automatic daily payment could not be processed and hence had to be done manually to AAI which has been apprised of the issue.
Its flight operations are now back to normal.