DGCA suspends Kingfisher Airlines' operating licence

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had issued a notice to Kingfisher, seeking a reply about its plans to restart operations and to pay the employees salaries.

PHOTO: Associated Press PHOTO: Associated Press
Kingfisher Airlines was dealt another blow on Saturday after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended its operating licence, citing inability to provide any reasonable revival plans.

Vijay Mallya's cash-strapped airline had on Friday extended the lockout till October 23 after negotiations with striking employees failed.

A senior aviation ministry official said DGCA "taking full cognizance of the reply sent by the airline has decided to suspend the operating licence to further notice."

FULL COVERAGE: Kingfisher crisis

"The decision was taken today (Saturday) keeping in full view the present situation in which the airline has no reasonable plans to restart operations or how it will manage to pay its employees."

The suspension came a day after the airline sought more time to reply to a showcause notice sent by the regulator on its revival plans.

"We are not satisfied with their reply. They have not come up with a solution to their industrial unrest problems and we can not wait forever for them to come up with something," the official added.

The regulator had issued a notice seeking a reply from the airline about its plans to restart operations and to pay the employees salaries.

DGCA has also rejected the passenger carrier's winter schedules for flight departures.

Kingfisher Airlines had a departure rate of 2,930 flights per week last year, but has since reduced capacity due to mounting debt and an exodus of employees.

The airline had the lowest market share in September, which stood at 3.5 per cent. It has a total debt of Rs 7,000 crore with banks.

Kingfisher Airlines has only 10 operational aircraft from an earlier strength of around 66 planes a year ago. It was also the country's second largest airlines by passenger traffic.

With inputs from IANS