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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Oil firms nod for KFA, mess stays

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 16, 2013
First Published: 11:29 IST(16/1/2013) | Last Updated: 21:52 IST(16/1/2013)

Grounded Kingfisher Airlines has been given a no- objection certificate by oil companies and some aircraft leasing companies to restart operations but that may be of little solace as the aviation regulator remains unconvinced of its ability to resume operations.

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Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwal met Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Arun Mishra here on Wednesday - the first meeting since the airline's flying permit lapsed on December 31 - to update him on the grounded airline's plans.

The regulator, sources said, remains unsatisfied with the Vijay mallya-promoted airline's funding plans.

The airline has failed to get no-objection certificates from any of the airport operators, including the Airports Authority of India, as asked by the DGCA.

The DGCA had also asked it to provide a written assurance from the UB Group that it would fund the limited revival plan submitted by the airline.

Another important condition put up by DGCA is that the airline clears salary dues of eight months of all employees before it restarts operations. Kingfisher has been silent on this demand so far.

"The (revival) plan he (Vijay Mallya) had submitted to DGCA means nothing," said aviation minister Ajit Singh.

A section of Kingfisher employees has threatened to file a winding-up petition to recover pay while others want to go on hunger strike.

Lenders to the airline, which has $2.5 billion (around R13,625 crore today) of debt, are expected to take a final call on the airline's future on January 18.

The consortium has been refusing to lend any more money to the airline till the promoters bring in more funds.

Mallya, in a letter to employees on January 9, had discussed the limited restart plan submitted by it to DGCA, which would require a funding of Rs. 650 crore, committed to be provided by the UB Group and associates.


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