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Kingfisher Airlines revival: Vijay Mallya meets Civil Aviation Secretary

Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya met Civil Aviation Secretary K N Shrivastava and briefed him about the steps being taken to revive the beleaguered carrier.

BT Online Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: October 30, 2012  | 15:44 IST

Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya on Tuesday met Civil Aviation Secretary K N Shrivastava and briefed him about the steps being taken to revive the beleaguered carrier.

The meeting comes ahead of the cash-strapped airlines submitting a revival plan to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Mallya is understood to have been asked by Shrivastava about the plans to pay off the debts and dues to various vendors, including Airports Authority of India (AAI) which has asked it to vacate two hangars at Kolkata and Chennai airports as it owes the state-run airports body Rs 293 crore.

"I have briefed him on revival and restart plan. It would be a comprehensive plan. All hurdles will be crossed," Mallya told reporters after the meeting.

The meeting between UB Group chief and the Secretary, the first since the airline got into regulatory trouble, lasted 30 minutes, official sources said.

Kingfisher is expected to apply to DGCA for revocation of suspension of its Scheduled Operator's Permit (SOP) or flying license in a few weeks.

For this, it has to submit to DGCA a comprehensive financial and operational plan to revive the airline and its operations, after an over three week impasse with its employees since September 30, who struck work demanding payment of overdue salaries.

The strike was followed by a lockout that was lifted on October 25.

The services of Kingfisher can be restored only after DGCA is convinced that the carrier can provide safe and sustainable operations.

Sources said the government is concerned about how the cash-strapped carrier would pay its dues to its service providers, including airport operators, aircraft lessors and oil companies.

The airline is likely to face more trouble soon with the Revenue Department deciding to move the Supreme Court of India to expedite recovery of tax dues worth about Rs 330 crore.

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