The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has asked grounded Kingfisher Airlines to vacate space it occupies at its airports across the country. The Vijay Mallya-owned airline, which hasn’t operated a single flight since October last year, has been asked to remove all hardware and counters at AAI-run airports.
State-owned AAI manages 125 airports across the country, including 11 international airports, eight customs airports, 81 domestic airports and 27 civil enclaves at defence airfields.
“We had written to the airline management to vacate the hangar space they occupy at our airports,” said an official. “Our officials have started meeting Kingfisher staff at respective airports to take forward the process. Kingfisher aircraft are occupying premium space and we have told them to move to the apron area. Similarly, counters and other hardware belonging to the airline have been lying vacant at airports. This precious space can be allocated to other airlines.
Kingisher did not offer comments for the story.
The debt-laden carrier owes over R300 crore to AAI. The state-run airport operator has also ruled out giving permission to Kingfisher to fly again till it clears all outstanding dues. Aviation minister Ajit Singh had earlier said that settlement of AAI’s dues was “non-negotiable.”
The grounded airline, which submitted a revival plan to aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on April 10, needs to get no-objection certificates from all stakeholders before its request to restart operations can be considered. “The airline needs to obtain statements from creditors, including banks, airport operators and employees that they do not object to resumption of flights,” Singh had said on January 22.
Kingfisher’s flying licence lapsed on December 31, 2012. The airline’s first revival, submitted to the regulator in December last year, had been rejected by the DGCA.