EghtesadOnline: Iranian airlines’ debt to the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company has amounted to 13 trillion rials ($345 million), NIOPDC’s chief executive, Mansour Riahi, said.
He has also been quoted by the Persian daily Tejarat as saying that Iran Aseman Airlines, Mahan and Iran Air account for 63% of the outstanding debt associated mostly with fuel payments prior to the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2016). In late 2015, the government liberalized air travel fares to create a wider profit margin for airlines. Yet, fuel payments have been disputed by both the carriers and NIOPDC. Airlines have recently been obliged to start paying for their fuel by wiring the cost of each refill to the bank accounts of NIOPDC using ATM or POS machines. Prior to the implementation of the plan, Iranian airlines paid for jet fuel on credit, settling their debts with NIOPDC every 10-15 days. The fuel company’s move to change the payment system has triggered strong opposition among airlines as well as officials of the Iran Civil Aviation Organization, according to Financial Tribune.