Mumbai: Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has said that the government will not cancel licences of cash-strapped carriers on safety concerns, a daily business newspaper reported on Friday.
The comments come even as aviation regulator on Thursday demanded assurances from Kingfisher Airlines and the budget arm of Air India that their financial problems would not affect safety.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation also told airlines to offer a timeline to put in place measures to tackle their financial problems.
"There is no case to let airlines shut down for financial or safety reasons. We can recommend measures to ensure safety," Singh, who took charge in December, was quoted as saying.
"World over, airlines are financially impacted. It is a rough patch for domestic carriers and we have to provide help to the sector."
A government report last month said the total debt of India's airlines are expected to rise to USD 20 billion in 2011/12 ending March as they struggle with rising oil prices, high sales taxes on jet fuel and below-cost pricing driven by fierce competition.
First Published: Friday, January 6, 2012, 09:28