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New Delhi: Beleagured Kingfisher Airlines' license was today suspended by regulator DGCA, capping three weeks of the carrier's lockout and its failure to come up with a viable plan of financial and operational revivial.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the Scheduled Operator Permit of Kingfisher Airlines till further orders, Civil Aviation Ministry officials said.
Suspension of flying licence implies an immediate halt to all bookings on the entire Kingfisher network as well as through travel agents, the officials said.
The liquor baron Vijay Mallya-owned carrier has been saddled with a loss of Rs 8,000 crore and a debt burden of another over Rs 7,524 crore, a large part of which it has not serviced since January. The airline currently has only 10 operational aircraft compared to 66 a year ago.
Asked why the license was suspended, the officials said the government did not want a situation where the airline, which was on cash-and-carry mode for almost all service providers, re-starts operations and then keeps flying in fits and starts, as has been happening since last year-end.
The airline, under a lockout since October one and resultant suspension of entire operations, had yesterday sought more time to respond to the DGCA's show-cause notice but did not give any timeline by which it would do so. The lockout was extended by three days to October 23.
The DGCA had issued the show-cause notice on October 5 to the crisis-ridden carrier asking why its flying licence should not be suspended or cancelled as it was not adhering to its flight schedule and "abruptly cancelling its flights time and again during the last 10 months", causing great inconvenience to the travelling public.
The aviation regulator had given the airline 15 days to respond, the deadline for which expired today.