The Delhi High Court has restrained the Airports Authority of India (AAI) from collecting 38.7 per cent of Mumbai airport’s revenue as annual fee in view of the adverse financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mumbai airport had invoked the force majeure clause to challenge the transfer of Rs 29 crore from its escrow account to the AAI in July.
Last Friday, the HC granted interim relief to MIAL and restrained AAI from transferring funds from the escrow account to itself. The relief will be in place till an arbitral tribunal decides on the matter.
The court also ruled that 38.7 per cent of the actual payments received by MIAL from the functioning of the airport will be deposited in the escrow account from a prospective basis from the date of judgment. Both the parties have also been directed to appoint an arbitrator each within 10 days to decide on the dispute in detail.
The order is a setback for AAI, which is likely to post a loss in financial year 2020-21 and may appeal it. Revenue share from Delhi and Mumbai airports forms an important source of revenue for the government-owned operator.