Kingfisher Airlines applies for renewal of operating licence
New Delhi: After remaining grounded for over three months, Kingfisher Airlines on Thursday applied for renewal of its operating licence but did not submit its crucial financial and operational revival plan, official sources said.
The application for renewal of its Scheduled Operator's Permit (SoP) was submitted to aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) today, the sources said, adding that the permit cannot be granted until it submitted a revival plan. No firm date has been given by the airline management for submitting the revival plan, the sources said.
Under normal circumstances, an SoP can be renewed for five years in one go. But in case of Kingfisher whose licence has been suspended, it could be done only after it submitted a comprehensive financial and operational revival plan, the sources said.
SoP of Kingfisher, which is scheduled to expire on December 31, was suspended on October 20, capping three weeks of lockout in the beleaguered carrier preceded by a strike by its employees demanding payment of salaries. Kingfisher has been saddled with a loss of Rs 8,000 crore and a debt burden of another over Rs 7,524 crore.
It was issued an airline licence on August 26, 2003, which was actually in the name of Air Deccan which was bought over by the liquor baron Vijay Mallya-owned carrier. The airline had declared a lockout on October one, grounding all its flights. With DGCA suspending its SoP 19 days later, the airline had stopped all ticket bookings on its entire network as well as through travel agents.
The employees claim that after paying a few instalments of back-wages, the airline has once again failed to pay the dues as promised earlier. DGCA suspended SoP following the airline's failure to come up with a viable plan "ensuring safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable Scheduled Air Transport Services to the satisfaction of DGCA".
In its notice suspending SoP, DGCA had maintained that the airline had not addressed "any of the issues" raised in its show-cause notice of October 5.