Kingfisher Airlines will be allowed to continue for now with a truncated flight schedule and a depleted fleet.

One of the reasons for no action being taken against the airline, which could have included cancelling its licence for not flying the sanctioned number of flights and not paying staff and vendors, is that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is currently conducting a safety audit of Kingfisher.

Sources indicated that till such time that the audit is over and the report examined, no action is likely against the airline.

Meanwhile, the airline has informed the DGCA that currently it has a fleet of 11 aircraft – six Airbus A-320 and five turbo-prop ATR aircraft – and has been operating 85 flights since August 17.

This was conveyed at a courtesy call that the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Agarwal paid to the newly appointed DGCA Arun Mishra. At the meeting, Agarwal is believed to have said that the current reduction in flights was due to “industrial action.”

Pilots have not been reporting for duty since August 17, protesting non-payment of seven months of back wages.

The airline had approached the DGCA to operate 118 flights during the ongoing summer schedule with 17 aircraft. At the moment, six aircraft are grounded due to engine trouble.

At the meeting, Agarwal is said to have assured that pilots will be paid on Tuesday and added that later in the day there was a meeting with two investors for recapitalising the debt-ridden airline.

Emerging from the meeting, he categorically denied to Business Line that there was any plan to shut down the airline.

ashwini.phadnis@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 21, 2012)
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