SpiceJet flights stuck at Delhi airport for non-payment of fees, airline says technical issue held up transfer

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New Delhi: A miniature SpiceJet aircraft on display during the launch of a co-branded credit card in partnership with Axis Bank, at Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Photo: PTI

New Delhi: SpiceJet passengers went through a tough time on Friday as several of the carrier’s flights were not allowed to operate from Delhi airport due to non-payment of the required daily fee paid to AAI. The airline said its self-checkout system was experiencing difficulties leading to payment failure, according to a Times of India report.
Air Traffic Control, a branch of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), has been instructed not to allow SpiceJet flights as payment has not been made.

“Due to a technical issue in SAP, the daily automatic payment could not be processed. The same is being done manually to AAI who have been notified of the issue. SpiceJet flight operations are now continuing as normal,” said said a SpiceJet spokesperson.

The AAI had put the airline in cash-and-carry mode in 2020, which meant that the airline would have to pay airport usage fees to the authority on a daily basis in order to conduct operations. Airlines experiencing financial difficulties are placed on the cash-and-carry path of daily payments instead of the usual credit account.

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Flight trackers say up to 12 SpiceJet planes were denied permission to take off in the early hours of Friday, with some flights facing delays of up to 90 minutes.

It should be noted that the aviation and hospitality sectors have been the hardest hit due to travel bans and lockdowns first imposed in 2020 to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. SpiceJet reported a consolidated loss of Rs 1,259 crore in the first 9 months ended December 2021 due to operating expenses. Total revenue from operations during the period increased by 44% year-on-year to Rs 4,733 crore from Rs 3,283 crore a year ago.
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