Growing concern over sky rocketing oil prices and incomplete paper work has stalled Kingfisher Airlines’ international foray by four to six weeks. The airline, which is being merged with Deccan Aviation, was scheduled to launch international flights towards August end.
“The current atmosphere is not conducive (to launch international operations). We are reviewing the impact of rising oil prices and have decided to postpone the international launch by a month,” said Kingfisher Airlines spokesman. Kingfisher had planned to launch non-stop flights to the west coast of America linking the silicon valleys of Bangalore and San Francisco. Under the current scenario, the airline has altered its plans to operate long haul flights with a stop over.
According to experts, refilling in Dubai gives cost benefit of Rs 7 lakh per flight on jet fuel bill, and non-stop ultra long haul flights are considered loss making.
The airline has acquired two A330-200 wide-bodied planes for ultra long haul operations, which are currently parked at the new international airport at Bangalore, Kingfisher’s hub for international operations. These could be either leased out temporarily or used for training the crew.
Deccan Aviation, which was acquired by the UB Group last year, has been granted permission by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate international flights on completion of five years of operations. Kingfisher will be using this license to operate international flights.
Though the airline has approached the DGCA for permission to fly to several international destinations in the US, Europe, China and the Gulf region, the paperwork is yet to be completed.