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Air India drags Kingfisher to court over Rs 39-crore dues

January 06, 2014 10:53 IST

Air India drags Kingfisher to court over Rs 39-crore dues

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

Air India has dragged Kingfisher Airlines to the Bombay High court over dues of Rs 39 crore (Rs 390 million) in ground handling charges at the Kochi airport.

The sum includes Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million) in principal amount and Rs 19 crore (Rs 190 million) interest and pertains to a ground-handling contract with the erstwhile Air Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines.

"The suit has been admitted in the Bombay High Court and summons have been served on Kingfisher Airlines.

“The matter will come up for hearing in March,” said M V Kini, counsel for Air India.

Kingfisher ceased operations in October 2012, following a strike by engineers.

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Image: A passenger walks past a near-empty Kingfisher airlines ticketing office at Mumbai's domestic airport March 27, 2012.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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Air India drags Kingfisher to court over Rs 39-crore dues

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The airline’s operating permit expired in December that year and it is facing a barrage of claims and litigations over dues.

Kingfisher did not respond to an email.

Last month, the high court admitted the state-owned carrier's civil suit.

Air India said it had a ground handling agreement with Air Deccan, which was taken over by Kingfisher, from 2008. 

The agreement was terminated by Kingfisher in 2011.

While Kingfisher has contested Air India’s claim of Rs 7.38 crore (Rs 73.8 million) towards dues of Air Deccan, it admitted liability for settle Deccan’s dues.

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Image: An Air India aircraft.
Photographs: Reuters

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Air India drags Kingfisher to court over Rs 39-crore dues

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However, Kingfisher contends Deccan’s dues amount to Rs 3.6 crore (Rs 36 million) and it had to be reconciled.

The airline also pointed out that Air India had not accounted for Rs 600,000 in tax deducted at source for Air Deccan.

The two airlines held a conciliation meeting, which was also attended by representatives of the Kochi airport, but without any result.

Air India served a legal notice on Kingfisher in February 2011, seeking recovery of its dues but Kingfisher rejected the claim.

Kingfisher’s lawyers said Air India’s notice was addressed to the ‘wrong entity’.


Image: Women walk past a closed booking office of Kingfisher Airlines in New Delhi October 1, 2012.
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

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