New Delhi: At a time when the Air India (AI) is going through a tough phase because of heavy debt burden, the airline on Thursday released a statement saying it has stopped issuing air tickets to government agencies on credit basis due to non-payment of dues.

“AI has stopped issuing air tickets on credit basis till the dues are not cleared,” the official spokesperson of the Air India told a news agency.

As per updates, the Air India has stopped issuing tickets on credit to IB, CBI, ED, Defence and paramilitary forces among other agencies.

The statement from the airline comes at a time when around Rs 268 crore dues are pending with different government agencies. The disinvestment-bound airline’s net loss in 2018-19 was around Rs 8,556 crore, and its current total debt is over Rs 60,000 crore.

However, the airline has exempted Lok Sabha Secretariat, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Labour Commission from the list of agencies to whom the tickets on credit will not be issued.

“The AI has started this exercise since the past three months to settle the dues of Rs 268 crore from various government agencies through the official channel,” the airlines further stated.

“AI had also sent reminders to the concerned agencies several times regarding settlement of dues but these agencies failed to clear their dues due to which the AI management has decided to stop issuing tickets to them on credit,” it added.

The airlines stated that it has in recent months recovered around Rs 50 crore from the agencies.