SpiceJet extends flight cancellations till next month

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Chennai/New Delhi, Dec 30: Cash-strapped carrier SpiceJet has extended its cancellations till next month affecting over 300 flights, but the government today made it clear that the airline will have to itself resolve its financial woes.

Meanwhile, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is likely to put SpiceJet on the pre-payment mode from Wednesday midnight as the earlier deadline of the two-weeks credit window ends tomorrow.

SpiceJet

According to the latest update on the airline's website, over 300 flights have been cancelled till January 31, 2015, which include mostly domestic flights and a few connecting Nepal and Afghanistan.

This follows cancellation of over 1,800 flights, announced earlier this month by the Chennai-based airline, till December 31, 2014.

"We will have to put SpiceJet on cash-and-carry mode from January 1 if we don't receive further orders from the government on the 15-days payment facility by tomorrow," a senior government official said.

The airline will have to furnish bank guarantee for the AAI dues, which stand at Rs 200 crore, to avail parking and landing facilities at various government-run airports from from Thursday, the official said.

SpiceJet could resume its operations, which remained grounded almost for the entire day on December 17 due to the oil companies refusing to supply jet fuel to the airline for want of cash, after the government lent a helping hand by asking the oil firms and AAI to extend to it 15-days credit facility till December 31.

In a related development, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that the Kalanithi Maran-promoted carrier will have to itself resolve its financial problems and the government can only help in the process.

"The government is here to be helpful and the government can be helpful but the SpiceJet problem is its finances which it will have to sort out," he told reporters in Delhi on the sidelines of a meeting of Chief Ministers and state Civil Aviation Ministers to discuss the Draft Civil Aviation Policy.

PTI

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