The airline, however, has said it would resume operations Oct. 20.
The date is significant since it is also the deadline for the airline to prove to the DGCA that it has a viable operational plan to support the continued grant of its air operator certificate.
Certificate At Risk
The DGCA on Oct. 5 issued a show-cause order to Kingfisher, “asking why its permit should not be canceled or suspended, as the airline has failed to establish a safe, efficient and reliable service.” It also rejected the airline’s proposed winter schedule. The DGCA on Oct. 17 approved the 2012 winter time tables of scheduled domestic airlines, effective from Oct. 28. In all, 10,935 departures per week, or 1,562 a day, have been approved. “But we have not given approval for Kingfisher Airlines,” a DGCA official says.
Kingfisher operated 2,930 departures in winter 2011.
The airline has been looking for investors outside the country after the Indian government recently allowed international airlines to own up to 49% equity in local carriers.
Kingfisher, which used to operate about 400 flights a day, has not made a profit since it launched operations in 2005.
While the airline says it is in talks with global airlines for a potential investment, no carrier has publicly expressed interest. The company also been holding talks with a consortium of banks on restructuring its massive debt.
Several of its aircraft have been taken away by lessors or grounded by the Airports Authority of India for non-payment of dues during the past few months.
Kingfisher has been in the red due to high fuel prices, interest costs, bleeding international operations, competition from low-fare carriers and large debts.