Revival plan to be given to DGCA, says KFA

Crisis-ridden Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) on Tuesday said it is working on a comprehensive revival plan which will be given to aviation regulator DGCA in the next few weeks.

“We are working on a comprehensive plan which will address the interests of all stakeholders and this will be submitted to DGCA,” an airline spokesperson said when asked about their plans to get the suspension of its scheduled operator’s permit (SOP), valid till this year-end, revoked.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had suspended Kingfisher’s SOP on October 19 till further orders after a lockout and its failure to come up with a viable plan of financial and operational revival. DGCA had said Kingfisher had failed to run a “safe, efficient and reliable operation”.

The SOP suspension came after a lockout by the management on October 1 following an impasse with its employees who struck work from September 30 demanding payment of overdue salaries.

The lockout was lifted on October 25. Airline sources said Kingfisher’s plan is likely to be submitted to the DGCA in the next few weeks.

It would have to submit to DGCA a financial and operational plan to revive the airline and its operations. The services can be restored only after the regulator is convinced that the carrier can provide safe and sustainable operations.

Asked about renewal of Kingfisher’s SOP after it expired on December 31, 2012, official sources said a suspended SOP must first be revived. It can be renewed and extended beyond the expiry date only if it is valid and not suspended.

Consultations to follow

The sources said once Kingfisher submits the plan, DGCA would hold consultations with airport operators, oil companies and other agencies to which the airline owes money, before considering giving it the clearance to fly again.
The government is concerned about how the cash-strapped carrier would pay its dues to its service providers, including airport operators, aircraft lessors and oil companies. The officials said the government did not want a situation where the airline, which was on cash-and-carry mode for almost all service providers, restarted operations and then kept flying in fits and starts, as has been happening since last year-end.
Among the first private carriers that came into being after the government opened up the aviation sector in 1990-91, East-West and ModiLuft closed down within 5-6 years after launching operations.
Similarly, Damania Airways started operations in 1993 and shut down four years later, while Archana Airways, which operated a fleet of small aircraft, closed down in 1999 after eight years of operations.

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