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More trouble for SpiceJet, airline remains grounded for 2nd day as oil companies stop fuel supply: Sources

Dec 17, 2014 10:20 AM IST India India

New Delhi: In more trouble for the cash-strapped airline SpiceJet, the operations remain grounded for the second day on Wednesday as oil companies have stopped fuel supply, the sources said.

"Not even a single flight has taken off till this morning due to fuel supply issue with the oil companies," sources said.

The state-run oil marketing firms have not yet taken a decision on the resumption of jet fuel supply to SpiceJet on a two-weeks credit facility, they said.

When contacted, an airline spokesperson said operations were likely to be "normal" shortly.

MoS for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said, "we understand problems passengers are facing, government is taking decision in wider interest of passengers."

The government had earlier asked banks to lend Rs 600 crore to allow the airline to continue its operations. But the government had added that the loan should be paid immediately after securing a long term investment which will take around eight weeks.

The Civil Aviation Ministry had said that it will also request the Finance Ministry to permit external commercial borrowing for working capital as special dispensation.

These and many more suggestions, were approved by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju after due consideration as a shut down would have been a major setback to the aviation sector, it said.

The steps came a day after SpiceJet's Chief Operating Officer Sanjiv Kapoor, along with Sun Group CFO SL Narayanan, met Raju and DGCA Prabhat Kumar and sought the government's help to overcome the crisis.

DGCA earlier withdrew 186 of its slots and had asked the airline to clear salary dues of all its employees as early as possible. The DGCA had also directed the airline not to take bookings of flights over one month and refund the booking amount to the customers of cancelled flights in 30 days.

SpiceJet was also given a breather after the state-run Airports Authority of India allowed it some time to clear Rs 200 crore dues following Maran giving a personal guarantees to infuse more funds.

(With inputs from PTI)