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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

'Kingfisher has to seek DGCA's nod for resuming operations'

PTI  New Delhi, October 03, 2012
First Published: 16:53 IST(3/10/2012) | Last Updated: 16:57 IST(3/10/2012)

Kingfisher Airlines, which has declared a partial lockout till Thursday, would have to seek aviation regulator DGCA's nod before resuming operations, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said on Wednesday.

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Directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has asked the crisis-ridden airline to submit a report on airworthiness of its aircraft before resuming operations, he told reporters in New Delhi.

The minister's response came a day after the airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal and executive vice president Hitesh Patel met DGCA chief Arun Mishra, briefing him on the company's decision to suspend the entire operations till October 4.

"We are hopeful that we will resolve the situation in the next few days. We will take a call on October four on resumption of our operations," Agarwal had told PTI on Tuesday.

The airline would be using its current fleet of ten aircraft -- seven Airbus A-320s and three turbo-prop ATRs, to resume flights. With these planes, Kingfisher has been operating about 70-80 flights each day till it declared a partial lockout late Monday night following a strike by engineers and pilots for non-payment of salary.

Maintaining that Vijay Mallya-owned carrier was facing serious financial crunch, the minister said DGCA would have to be satisfied on all aspects of operational safety till it approved resumption of its flights.

Based on the inputs received from the airline and its own findings, the aviation regulator is likely to submit an interim report on the airline's safety parameters to the Ministry very soon and a final report would follow in the next few days.

"We will only then take a decision on the airline's operations," the Minister said, adding that he had "no idea" on the implications of the safety issues on Kingfisher's flying licence as of now.

The airline had declared a partial lockout after its engineers and pilots struck work on Friday to protest non-payment of salaries since March.

After the airline CEO told DGCA that the March salaries, which have already been paid to about half the employees, would be given to the remaining staff in the next few days, a representative of the protesters said, "The management has made such promises earlier too but not fulfilled them. So, we have to wait and watch."


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