No bailout for Kingfisher: Ajit Singh

Accommodate passengers in other airlines: DGCA


Sweta Ranjan | February 20, 2012

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has sent a notice to Kingfisher Airlines, asking it to explain the reasons for cancellation of several flights that has led to stranding of passengers at various airports. Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwal has been asked to meet the DGCA on Tuesday.

Troubles for Kingfisher Airlines passengers have not ended as the airline cancelled 30 flights on Monday morning and delayed many other flights across the country.

While the troubled airline is struggling for stability civil aviation minister Ajit Singh has said there will be no bailout for Kingfisher. Singh said, "Everybody is aware that the Kingfisher Airlines has financial troubles... We are not going to ask banks to bail out any private carrier. Kingfisher has presented a business plan to banks, let us see," he said. The minister said that the airline should talk to banks to sort out the issue.

The services of the airlines remained crippled over the weekend. The cash-strapped airline cancelled nearly 50 percent of its flights. While the Kingfisher officials said that the flights were cancelled due to bird-hits the DGCA has refused to buy this excuse, a source revealed.

While the regulator has asked other airlines to accommodate stranded passengers without hiking prices the passengers are left in lurch at all major airports including those at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow and Chandigarh. The trouble for the passengers continues as they are finding it tough to even get any information from the airline. 

While Kingfisher has completely stopped its operations in Kolkata the number of flights to northeast has been cut down.

In the last four months it is the second time that the airline has cancelled a large number of flights without informing either the regulator or the passengers. The DGCA has decided to take action against the airline as the aviation rules demands operators to take prior approval from the DGCA before curtailing flight schedules.

Meanwhile, the Vijay Mallya-run airlines’ bank accounts have been frozen by income tax authorities. Kingfisher owes Rs 1,500 crore to the State Bank of India, Rs 400 crore to Corporation Bank and Bank of Baroda and Rs 380 crore to Federal Bank.

While the SBI last month had said that the bank finds it difficult provide more funds as the airline should firstly pay Rs 100 crore in order to restore a bank guarantee which was invoked after the airline failed to repay its loans.



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