Hyderabad(PTI): Troubled Kingfisher Airlines would have to submit a “concrete” plan for running the carrier to aviation regulator DGCA and satisfy it on all aspects like safety and payment of salaries before it is allowed to resume flights, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said today.
“The DGCA has issued a show-cause notice to the Kingfisher Airlines to let us know what are their concrete plans and not just that we will get investments from here and there. Tell us a concrete plan on how will you pay salaries and how will you make arrangements to run the airlines,” he told reporters.
Singh said the airline will have to satisfy the DGCA that “there will be no safety issues and there will be no problems due to the financial crisis.”
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had issued a show-cause notice to Vijay Mallya-owned carrier on October 5 asking why its flying license should not be suspended or cancelled as it had grounded its entire fleet and failed to offer safe, efficient and reliable service.
It has given the airline 15 days to reply.
Asked whether his ministry will initiate any action in the matter, Singh said, “DGCA has served the notice. It is up to Kingfisher to reply and satisfy DGCA on all issues including operational safety and how it will solve its financial problems and pay the salary dues of employees.”
“It (license cancellation) will depend on what reply Kingfisher gives and DGCA will decide that,” he said.
Referring to the alleged suicide by the wife of a Kingfisher employee apparently over financial stress due to non-payment of salary to her husband, the minister said “it was a sad and unfortunate that such a thing happened.”
“…if they (Kingfisher employees) don’t get salaries for seven months it is natural that it will definitely lead to problems. Despite that they were working as they had hope that the airline may get revived and their jobs may be retained…but the developments in the last few days have been such thaT their hopes are fading away,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, industry experts have said the notice could have been issued four months ago when the then aviation regulator chief had made a similar recommendation to avoid the present situation.
Bhushan was abruptly shunted out mid-July to Steel Ministry for taking a tough stand against Kingfisher, a charge that was denied by the government.
Bhushan had then recommended that a notice be served on Kingfisher indicating that the DGCA would be constrained to suspend their operations as operational safety was being compromised, the airline had huge liabilities regarding salaries and the dues of its vendors, oil companies and airport operators.