Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Asia X Benyamin Ismail provided a written commitment to pay the dues to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in 4 installment basis. After this commitment TIA has extend 4 additional months for Air Asia to pay the full debt of 40 million rupees.
Ismail mailed TIA to pay the debt within end of July and after this commitment Airport management has become more flexible. Before this, TIA had warned the airline to ban the flights to Nepal if they failed to pay the due amount.
General Manager of TIA Rajkumar chhetri said that after the commitment of providing bank guarantee of Rs. 25 million by mid-July, TIA added the deadline. Air Asia has debt of 27 crore for service utilization and extra 13 crore making it total of 40 crore. The airline committed to pay 40% by Baisakh 17, 20% by Jestha 17, 20% by Asar 16 and remaining within Shrawan 15.
Chetri told that even though the airline have said to pay in installment, the airport will still take the bank guarantee and if the airline pays as per the commitment then the airport will remove the bank guarantee.
Earlier 2 high officials of the airlines visited Nepal to discuss about the steps taken by TIA management and after the discussion they returned back to Malaysia making commitment to provide bank guarantee of 25 billion rupees within the Falgun 25. After that, Air Asia CEO mailed the TIA to extend the date stating that to provide more than 50 million Malaysian Ringgit, they have to ask for permission from operational committee.
Despite repeated message, the airline had ignored the call to pay the debt. However, this commitment is not the first they have agreed on. 2 months ago, after the warning to halt their operation, the airline provided written commitment to pay in installment.
According to the commitment, the airline had to pay Rs.20 million in December 23 and Rs 10 million in the next day and the rest of the remaining Rs. 11 million was to be paid in installment. At that time the bill was Rs 33 million. The payment was done from Air Asia headquarter. But Air Asia X however paid only 1 crore and 30 lakh and tricked the airport management committee. Then the airport called the GSA of Air Asia to Nepal Incentive Travel and Tours operator Hariman Lama and signed the commitment. He promised to pay within 15 days and then the airlines promised to pay within falgun 16. Then the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) had directed to halt the flight by falgun 19 however the airport committee extended the deadline by 3 more days.
Initially TIA had warned to halt the flight and send mail to Air Asia GSA but after the travel agency did not respond, the warning was sent to Malaysia at the headquarter. Even then they didn’t respond for 2 weeks.
After the news of international airlines failing to pay the amount of 1 arba 92 crore 2 lakh and 33 thousand, a committee was formed in CAAN to look after the problem. Then the committee provided the report to CAAN and assisted TIA which in return sent notice to all the airlines to pay the amount. Till the time, around 2 dozens airlines paid 56 crore and 87 lakh. Still large quantities is left to be recovered.