December 26, 2012
Credit: Credit: Airteam
Grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines has submitted an interim revival plan with Indian regulators, in an effort to gain a reprieve from the expiry of its operating license on Dec. 31.
The airline’s limited restart plan was submitted to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Dec. 24, a Civil Aviation Ministry official says.
“Kingfisher Airlines has proposed to restart flights with five Airbus jets and two ATR turboprop regional aircraft,” according to the official. “The airline has proposed to increase the fleet to 10 Airbus and 11 ATR aircraft within 10 weeks of resuming operations.”
However, the government has not yet made a decision on renewing the airline’s operating license. “We [the ministry] will seek additional details from the airline, including its financial condition, before considering its plan,” the official says.
Kingfisher is reported to have indicated to the regulator that it will require about 6.5 billion rupees ($118 million) over the next 12 months to run its operations, and the funds will be channeled from parent company UB Group because lenders are unwilling to fund the airline.
“There is no date yet for the airline restarting operations,” a source says. “It will take the DGCA a few days to examine the airline’s interim plan. After the DGCA gives the go-ahead, it will take 6-8 weeks for the airline to begin operations.”
Debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines is currently in talks with various potential investors, including Etihad Airways, regarding the sale of a large stake in the carrier.
Labor unrest over unpaid salaries followed by the suspension of its operating license forced a complete shutdown of Kingfisher’s daily operations from Oct. 1. The DGCA has also suspended the airline’s Scheduled Operator’s Permit.
The DGCA has said that in order to gain approval to fly again, the airline has to give an assurance about the implementation of its operational and financial plan.