Kingfisher seeks to renew licence, DGCA wants to see revival plan first

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 21, 2012 06:55 hrs
Airlines staff member sits in front of a closed Kingfisher Airlines ticketing counter at the airport in Kolkata

Kingfisher Airlines, the grounded carrier controlled by liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, has given an application to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to renew its licence, due to expire on December 31.

The aviation regulator, however, will not respond to the application till Kingfisher submits a viable revival plan, satisfying stakeholders such as vendors and airport operators, according to a civil aviation ministry official, who declined to be identified. Even if the licence expires this month, the carrier has two years to submit a revival plan to DGCA.

According to the Air Transport Circular No 1 of 2007: “It has been decided by the competent authority, that if an operator fails to renew the operating perm it within two years of its expiry, the same will stand automatically cancelled and the operator will be required to apply afresh for NOC (no objection certificate) to start scheduled/non-scheduled services, as the case maybe.”

DGCA suspended Kingfisher’s licence in early October, following flight disruptions after engineers went on a strike because of unpaid salaries. Kingfisher has been seeking funds for more than two years and said it was in talks with possible investors, including Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways. The carrier, which had around 20 per cent market share about a year ago, has piled up debt of around Rs 7,000 crore.

Kingfisher shares, which have pared 27 per cent this year, on Thursday closed 4.69 per cent down at 15.43 on BSE, while the benchmark index, Sensex, shed 0.11 per cent to 19,453.92 points.

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