Troubled Kingfisher Airlines would have to submit a detailed plan to aviation regulator DGCA before they are allowed to resume flights, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said on Saturday.
Kingfisher employees stage countrywide protest
Asked whether the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was likely to move ahead with suspending or cancelling the crisis-ridden carrier's flying license, he said it was for the regulator to decide after it studies their reply to the show-cause notice issued to them.
DGCA had on Friday issued a show-cause notice to Kingfisher asking why its flying license should not be suspended or cancelled as it had grounded its entire fleet and failed to offer safe, efficient and reliable service. It has given the airline 15 days to reply.
Kingfisher employees take part in a candle march at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. PTI Photo
"This (suspension or cancellation) has to be decided by the DGCA. It will depend on what reply they give, what plans they have (to resume operations). How they will lease (aircraft). There are disgruntled employees and there is safety concern," the minister said.
In the notice, DGCA chief Arun Mishra said it had been observed that the airline was not adhering to its flight schedule and "abruptly cancelling their flights time and again during the last 10 months", causing great inconvenience to the travelling public.
He also took note of the lockout which had led to "suspension of all their flights" and that the airline had "failed to establish a safe, efficient and reliable services as required" under the rules.
Maintaining that this amounted to Kingfisher not complying with the provisions of the Aircraft Rules 1937, the regulator asked the airline why action should not be taken against it for this "violation".
Kingfisher Airlines aircraft are seen parked on the tarmac of the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines will remain grounded for another week after employees who have not been paid for the last seven months refused to go back to work, the company said. AFP/Punit Paranjpe
Kingfisher had declared a lockout on September 28 till October four, cancelling its entire flight schedule, and extended it till October 12 later. The lockout was declared after the management failed to resolve the deadlock with its striking employees, including engineers and pilots, over non-payment of salaries for last seven months.
Responding to the notice, a Kingfisher spokesperson said, "We will send a detailed response to the DGCA well in time. We will also submit a comprehensive plan for restoration of services after negotiations with our employees."