For the third time in the last three months, the national carrier has been denied fuel supply because of defaulting dues.
The state-owned oil firms Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum had stopped their supply of fuel from 4 pm yesterday.
Due to the sudden cut in fuel supply several Air India flights plying between Mumbai, Delhi Kolkata and southern cities were delayed.
The matter was however resolved in an hour after the intervention of top civil aviation officials and the petroleum ministry.
"There was some confusion between the oil companies and the airline, which has now been sorted out," maintained a top official from the civil aviation ministry.
According to a Mumbai airport official, several airlines were delayed from 5 pm for about three hours, and the reason mentioned for the delay was technical problems.
However none of the flights were cancelled. Later, an Air India spokesperson confirmed, "There was a little confusion with the oil companies, which has been sorted out. The fuel supply has been resumed," he said.
Sources inside Air India revealed that the airline owed about Rs 2,400 crore to the oil companies.
It owes Rs 1,900 to Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Rs 300 crore to Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and about Rs 100 crore to Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).
The insider added that the national carrier buys fuel of about Rs 19 crore, whereas it pays only about Rs 14 crore.
Air India was put on cash-and-carry from December, but the airline has not been able to pay even for its daily fuel purchases, he said.