Kingfisher to suspend international flights from Mar 25
Kingfisher Airlines on Tuesday decided to suspend all international flights from March 25 and further curtail domestic operations even as government warned the ailing carrier that its flying licence can be cancelled if it failed to meet safety norms.india Updated: Mar 21, 2012 13:13 IST
Kingfisher Airlines on Tuesday decided to suspend all international flights from March 25 and further curtail domestic operations even as government warned the ailing carrier that its flying licence can be cancelled if it failed to meet safety norms.
"We have decided to suspend our international operations as we are not on IATA platforms. So, there is no sense flying abroad," Mallya, who was summoned by the DGCA, told reporters in New Delhi.
Kingfisher will not operate its international flights in the summer schedule starting from March 25, airlines sources said.
Mallya, who had a nearly 90-minute meeting with the aviation regulator to brief them on the present situation of the beleaguered airlines, said, "we are not going with any ambitious target. We will be operating flights with 20 aircraft."
The airlines, which was operating over 400 daily flights 64 aircraft in its winter schedule, slashed it to 170 flights with 28 aircraft last month. On Sunday, this was reduced to 130 daily flights.
Mallya said he had told Director General of Civil Aviation EK Bharat Bhushan that there would be no disruptions and "schedule integrity will be maintained".
Ahead of the meeting, civil aviation Minister Ajit Singh put the onus on Mallya to maintain its operations and adhere to the schedule even as government constituted a special team to check whether the aircraft used by the airline were safe.
He said Kingfisher Airlines has not paid salaries to its employees, cleared dues to oil companies and to the Airport Authority of India.
"Also they have failed to stick to their schedule. They have revised their schedule 2-3 times but they have failed to adhere to it. DGCA is checking on the passenger safety aspect whether the planes are safe and pilots were in good condition," he told reporters.
"If he gives a plan and says I have that many planes, that much schedule, then why should we cancel?" Singh said.
"If passenger safety is compromised we'll not let any airline fly. Safety norms also involves financial viability," the minister said.
Mallya was summoned by DGCA today to present a "clear picture" of the cash-strapped private carrier, as the aviation regulator mulled cancellation of its flying permit.