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SpiceJet has proposed to bring down its principal amount due to Airports Authority of India below 75 per cent of the bank guarantees by March 31. The airline has also agreed to clear the entire interest debt or increase the bank guarantees by then.

According to AAI’s credit policy, it can encash the bank guarantees if the total dues of an airline are above 75 per cent of the bank guarantees. BusinessLine had reported that the no-frills carrier owed approximately ₹147 crore as principal amount and ₹78 crore as interest. AAI has a bank guarantee of only approximately ₹155 crore.

AAI board meet today

A top official told BusinessLine, “SpiceJet has proposed a two-fold plan to clear dues; it will bring principal amount below the 75 per cent threshold and clear the interest amount entirely or provide additional bank guarantees before the end of the fiscal.” However, this is subject to the approval of the AAI board and the Delhi High Court. According to another source, the AAI board is likely to meet on January 19 to decide on SpiceJet’s proposal.

On June 30, 2020, AAI had put SpiceJet on cash-and-carry mode for a daily fee of ₹1.1 crore. SpiceJet submitted a two-year-long payment plan which was not acceptable to AAI, after which it proposed to encash the bank guarantees.

However, in December, SpiceJet had applied for an additional loan of ₹500 crore and requested for a one-time debt restructuring of its total dues. According to banking sources, a decision on the basis of SpiceJet’s rating will be taken before this month-end.

SpiceJet’s financial health has been extremely weak which has been a matter of concern for its lenders, auditors and its stakeholders. Between Q2 FY15 and Q2 FY21, SpiceJet’s total liabilities have jumped by a whopping 223 per cent, a review of the airline’s financial statements shows.

In September 2014, SpiceJet’s total liabilities were ₹4,457 crore. Its current and non-current liabilities were ₹2,982 crore and ₹1,475 crore, respectively.

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