Kingfisher Airline summoned by DGCA

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DGCA summons KF CEO, says passengers first

The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) summoned the CEO of Kingfisher Airlines, Sanjay Aggarwal, and ordered the airline to accomodate passengers, affected by cancelled flights, with other airlines.

DGCA summons KF CEO, says passengers first

The DGCA response came after Kingfisher cancelled 17 flights on Monday, for a third day in a row, from Bangalore and Mumbai and also rescheduled two flights. The airlines had also cancelled 28 flights on Sunday, February 19.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said in response to the crisis that there were no plans to bail out the troubled airline. The airline must talk to the banks and sort the issue out, he added.

Earlier, Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) officials, despite repeated attempts, declined to confirm or deny the developments. Instead, they repeatedly said that “we shall issue a statement when required” and refused to comment on the potential action by the DGCA.

The cancellations have affected incoming or outbound flights in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.

The abrupt flight cancellations had created major problems for passengers waiting to travel after having booked their tickets months in advance, an official at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport said.

However, Sunday, the beleaguered carrier reeling under financial losses had claimed that despite flight disruptions since the past couple of days, it has not shut down any stations from its schedules, an official said.

The developments have also worried passengers intending to travel on KFA flights in the next few days or weeks.

“Last minute cancellations jeopardize our travel and onward plans, while other carriers charge heavily for the same sector if we try to cancel and make alternate bookings,” said A.A. Kinariwalla, a manager with a multinational in Mumbai, who is a frequent flier on domestic and international sectors.

A KFA spokesperson blamed the flight disruptions on certain unexpected incidents like ‘bird hits’ which rendered its aircraft out of service.

The flight disruptions are expected to continue for another three to four days with only 208 flights in operations, but the carrier has not shut down nor does it plan to close down any stations, the official said.

‘The speculation that we are reducing our operating schedule from 240 flights a day are ill-founded, as we will operate the full schedule on our booking system within the next four days,’ the spokesperson added.

While admitting that its bank accounts have been attached by the Income Tax Department, KFA said in the past also similar issues have happened and they have been resolved.

‘We have had a good meeting with our consortium of Banks who have accepted, in principle, the viability study prepared by SBI Capital markets and independent consultants. Our request for additional working capital has been acknowledged by the consortium and is subject to individual bank approvals,’ the spokesperson said.

The developments come after high fuel costs and falling revenue resulted in KFA losses in the third quarter of the current fiscal mounting to Rs.444 crore from a net loss of Rs.254 crore suffered in the like quarter of 2010-11.

Source: India Syndicate

Kingfisher’s entry into Oneworld Alliance deferred

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Kingfisher’s entry into Oneworld Alliance deferred

The joining of Kingfisher Airlines into the global airline grouping “Oneworld Alliance” was put on hold on Friday due to the financial crisis faced by the Vijay Mallya owned carrier.

Kingfisher's entry into Oneworld Alliance deferred

The development came a day after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) suspended Kingfisher Airlines from its Geneva-based clearing house (ICH) due to non-payment of dues to airline members.

“Kingfisher Airlines and Oneworld today agreed to put the Airlines entry into the alliance on hold to give it time to strengthen its fiancial position,” a joint statement issued in Washington said tonight.

Kingfisher was slated to formally join the alliance on February 10.

“These are turbulent times for the arirline industry in India and in many other parts of the world. We have been working closely with Kingfisher over the past months and it has become increasingly clear recently that the airline needs more time to resolve the financial issues it is confronting before it can be welcomed into Oneworld,” the alliance CEO Bruce Ashby said in a statement.

He said the airline would be inducted on a ‘new joining date once it is through with this current period of turbulence.’

Mallya said that in view of ‘many priorities centred around Kingfisher’s recapitalisation efforts, we felt it prudent to defer our entry into the alliance for a little while.’

‘This would allow the ariline to focus on the issues at hand,’ he said, adding, ‘We look forward to being part of the alliance very shortly.’

Kingfisher Airlines slid from a net loss of Rs 263 crore in the first quarter of 2011-12 (FY12) to a net loss of Rs 469 crore in the 2nd quarter of the fiscal. DGCA has also asked the airline to redouble its recapitalisation efforts and ensure that safety parameters are not compromised at any cost.
Source: PTI