Logistics

Govt summons Mallya, may cancel Kingfisher licence

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 14, 2017 Published on March 19, 2012

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The Kingfisher drama appeared to be entering the end-game phase, with the ground being prepared for suspending the airline's operating licence.

The suspension of the licence will mean Kingfisher will have to stop operating its scheduled flights.

Official sources said that a showcause notice as to why the airline's licence should not be suspended for flouting licence conditions was issued to Kingfisher at the end of January.

Going by the rules, the airline should have replied within 15 days of the notice being sent to it, but it failed to do so.

The airline not sticking to the various recovery plans that it had submitted to the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and its inability to pay salaries to its employees and maintain its approved schedule are some of the key reasons for considering suspending the airline's operating licence, sources close to the developments said.

The airline, however, declined to comment, claiming that no showcause notice has been received, a point contested by the Government.

The airline, which earlier operated with a fleet of more than 60 aircraft, now has only 16 planes flying.

Late last month, the airline had submitted a detailed plan to the DGCA, according to which it was to see a steady increase in the number of aircraft and flights that it operated. This too has not happened.

A clearer picture on the airline's future is likely to emerge in the next few days with the airline's politically well-connected Chairman and Managing Director and Member of Parliament, Mr Vijay Mallya, being summoned by the Director-General of Civil Aviation for urgent talks.

No firm schedule has been fixed for the meeting as yet, although it is expected to take place in the next 24-48 hours.

Interestingly, the DGCA Web site shows Mr Vijay Mallya as the “Accountable Manager” for Kingfisher Airlines.

Sources indicated that the top echelons in the Government, including the Minister of Civil Aviation, have been kept fully abreast of the fast deteriorating situation in the cash-strapped airline.

They also said that the promoters were playing a cat-and-mouse game and waiting to see whether they should shut down the airline or whether the Government would be forced to take this extreme step.

Another board member quits

Meanwhile, the airline informed the BSE on Monday that Mr Anil Kumar Ganguly had resigned from its Board of Directors and his resignation had been accepted effective March 17. Mr Ganguly became the second Board member after Mr Vijay Amritraj to resign from the board within a week.

The airline claimed that Mr Ganguly had resigned because of indifferent health while Mr Amritraj had quit because of increase in his travel schedule and commitments.

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Published on March 19, 2012
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