Mallya meets Civil Aviation Minister

Mallya meets Civil Aviation Minister

With Kingfisher Airlines facing threat of its licence being cancelled by DGCA, its promoter Vijay Mallya today met Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh to apprise him of the ailing airline's problems.

The meeting came a day after he submitted a curtailed summer schedule of about 100 daily flights with 20 aircraft to the Director General of Civil Aviation, starting from March 25.

Both the Minister and Mallya did not speak to the media after their 30-minute meeting.

However, it is understood that Mallya briefed Singh about the current financial and operational status of the airline.

Though the Minister has been saying that cancellation of flying permit of any airline would be injurious to the health of the industry, he has also made it clear that this could be done if flight safety was compromised in the name of cash-crunch.

"We are waiting for DGCA's report on Kingfisher Airlines," Singh told reporters.

The crisis-hit Kingfisher, which has a total debt of about Rs 7,057 crore and accumulated losses of about Rs 6,000 crore, has decided to suspend all international flights from March 25 and further curtail domestic operations.

The Minister had yesterday put the onus on Mallya to adhere to the flight schedule given to DGCA even as the government constituted a special team to check whether the aircraft used by the airline were safe.

Singh said Kingfisher Airlines has not paid salaries to its employees, cleared dues to oil companies and to the Airport Authority of India.

Mallya was summoned by the DGCA yesterday to present a "clear picture" of the cash-strapped private carrier.