Mumbai: The ban on jet fuel supply to Air India at six airports by the oil marketing firms was on account of fund crunch and not due to carrier’s operational performance, airline chief Ashwani Lohani has said. Lohani in a Facebook post on Sunday also wrote that regardless of the situation the Maharaja must keep afloat. The oil marketing companies led by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) last week stopped supplying fuel to Air India’s aircraft at Kochi, Pune, Patna, Ranchi, Vizag and Mohali airports over payment defaults, amid their combined dues mounting to a whopping around Rs 5,000 crore. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe disinvestment-bound flag carrier has a debt pile Rs 58,351 crore as on March 31 this year, while the cumulative loss is to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore with no fiscal support to the airline coming from the government his year. “The constraints on fueling imposed on AI by the OMC’s at six stations is because of an overall shortage of funds but does not in any way mean reflect on the operational performance and recent efforts of the airline,” Lohani said. The joint decision to stop fuel supply to Air India from six airports was taken by the oil marketing companies in the wake of long-overdue payments to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore, IOC said in a statement issued on behalf of the three firms.