New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines may be inching towards suspension of its flying permit. It has time till Saturday to submit a revival plan to the aviation regulator DGCA, but no negotiations are scheduled with striking employees before that.
Unless employees agree to come back to work, the airline may not have a viable plan to submit to DGCA. Two senior Government officials indicated to Firstpost that the airline’s permit would be suspended unless it comes up with a convincing plan of restarting operations before the 20th.
But employees remained unfazed, with engineers of the airline asserting that unless the Kingfisher management offers them substantially more salary than the one-month offer which has been made earlier, no engineer will join work.
The engineers, who were instrumental in unleashing the crrent crisis at the airline by refusing to certify planes, say unless the airline offers them at least four months’ salary (salary for seven months is due now) and that too before Diwali (which falls on November 12), not one engineer will return to work.
Meanwhile, the Times of India said earlier this week that the state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has decided that Kingfisher will not be allowed to resume flights till it clears its Rs 273 crore dues. AAI’s threat will apply to private airports too as it provides air traffic control and without that clearance pilots can’t even start aircraft engines.
The story quoted reliable sources to add that AAI’s tough move has been cleared by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It also said that a cheque for Rs 107 crore, issued by the airline towards AAI dues, bounced and a criminal case has been filed in which Kingfisher chief Vijay Mallya has sought exemption from personal appearance.
The officials quoted above said Kingfisher’s slots have still not been reallocated and if indeed it does come up with a viable business plan by Saturday, it may well fly in the winter schedule too.
DGCA has not approved any flights for Kingfisher in the new schedule, which was approved yesterday and which comes into effect from October 31. Meanwhile, as per the latest data released by the Ministry, Kingfisher continued to hold 3.5% share of the domestic aviation market in September.