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ai express: AI, AI Express say ‘ta-ta’ to credit sales; finance ministry tells govt departments to buy fresh tickets only in cash


NEW DELHI: With Air India and AI Express about to lose their PSU tag and return to founder Tata Group, the Centre has asked all ministries to clear dues to the airlines and make fresh purchases in cash only.
“AI has stopped extending credit facility on account of purchase of air tickets,” an office memo issued by the finance ministry on Wednesday said. A senior AI official said the practice of giving 2-3 month credit has been stopped and all sales are only on cash basis now.
In 2009 the government had decided that all domestic and international air travel, including LTC, where it bears the cost of air passage must happen on state-owned AI. Now with AI and AI Express going in private hands, the rules are changing.
“AI has stopped extending credit facility on account of purchase of air tickets. Therefore, all ministries/departments are directed to clear AI’s dues immediately. Air tickets from AI may be purchased in cash till further instructions,” says the memo issued by finmin’s department of expenditure on Wednesday.
Members of Parliament are entitled to a number of air tickets every year, which till now were mostly on AI.
A senior aviation ministry official had recently told TOI: “AI used to bill for these tickets. Now we may make it an open system where MPs can choose whichever flight suits them the most. The money the government used to pay state-owned AI on this account till now will go whichever airlines the MPs choose.”

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