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Mallya summoned by DGCA to explain Kingfisher status

New Delhi. Kingfisher Airlines’ Chairman Vijay Mallya has been summoned by the aviation regulator to give a clear outlook for the financially troubled carriers’ operations and future plans.

“He (Mallya) has been called to meet the director general to give a clear picture of the day-to-day operations, the status of aircraft and flight schedule,” sources in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told IANS.

According to the sources, DGCA had earlier given a show cause notice to the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines for failing to inform it of the curtailed flight scheduled which caused immense hardship to the passengers.

“The notice period has lapsed and no valid reason has been given to us for curtailment of flight schedule. We require to know the current situation and their future plans,” it was stated Mar 19.

The development comes as the airline submitted its new summer schedule to the DGCA which will only have 15 operational aircraft from at least 28 planes mentioned in an earlier schedule submitted in February.

On March 15 Mallya said that the airline will come up with a firm operating schedule.

“We will come up with a firm schedule which will have 100 percent certainty to it. In a few days time we will have a crystal clear plan, a road map covering all aspects from the trade, travelling public, employees. It will clearly show that Kingfisher can move ahead,” Mallya told reporters here after a meeting with his airlines pilots.

“The certainty of schedule will be maintained… There are other issues that affect schedule integrity which we need to take care of and we are in process of addressing them seriously.”

Mallya described the new schedule by stating that it will envisage more flight operations on “many many more routes with daily flights”.

“We require a process of stabilisation. We are already implementing various initiatives that we believe we need to take under the current environment.”

On March 14, the airline announced that it is slashing its wide-bodied aircraft operations on international sectors that are making heavy losses. The beleaguered carrier had to also return one leased Airbus A330-320 to its lessor in Britain.

Kingfisher’s woes were exacerbated Feb 18 when its employees in Kolkata went on a flash strike as they had not received their salaries for several months.

The airline, which later on curtailed its flight plans, blamed the seizure of its bank accounts in February by the Income Tax Department as the main hurdle in clearing of dues.

Kingfisher has a debt of Rs.7,057.08 crore. Its net loss widened to Rs.444.27 crore for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2011, from Rs.253.69 crore in the October-December quarter in the last fiscal.

(IANS)

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