Kingfisher Airlines was on Wednesday served a showcause notice by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) over the cancelation of flights.
At least 34 flights were cancelled on Tuesday, with the Vijay Mallya -owned carrier maintaining these were planned curtailments. "The curtailment of flights has been due to process of reconfiguration of our aircraft," Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Agarwal said.
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But the DGCA said saying bulk cancellations were in violation of its norms and were severely affecting public interest. Kingfisher had recently announced its exit from the low-cost carrier market. It said all its aircraft would now on have business class seats as against several planes having only economy class-seating arrangements.
To questions on the airlines dues to the oil companies, Agarwal said, "Our unreserved exposure (vis-a-vis oil companies) now is not even 10 per cent. It is much better than before."
Kingfisher sources said that the three oil companies HPCL, BPCL and IOC have corporate guarantees from the UB Group, which owns the airline.
However, sources in the oil PSUs had earlier said Kingfisher has to pay dues on a regular basis including an outstanding amount of Rs.600 crore to HPCL.
Aviation sources said the airline has also grounded six ATR aircraft. A company statement said, "For a limited period, these flights are either being cancelled or clubbed with other Kingfisher flights in a well-controlled and pre-determined manner. In continuation of our earlier announcement to focus on the full-service market, KFA has initiated reconfiguration of its aircraft."