Despite all its efforts Kingfisher Airlines, on Monday, lost its flying licence as the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) refused to renew its Air Operator Permit (AOP) without a viable turnaround plan. Kingfisher, as desired by the DGCA, also failed to furnish no objection certificates from service providers, more specifically the Airports Authority of India (AAI), before the deadline. The airline’s flying licence, which was suspended in October after a workers’ strike, was scheduled for renewal on December 31, 2012, but the aviation regulator wanted a more comprehensive restart plan before renewal of permit.
DGCA officials said that they were not satisfied with Kingfisher’s assurances and needed more clarity before giving their nod. Director-General of Civil Aviation Arun Mishra did not receive calls to spell out the regulator’s stance and about Kingfisher’s future.
The non-renewal of permit is not the end for Kingfisher as the airline can apply for renewal of licence within two years. But as per Monday’s development, the airline has become defunct as it is no more a scheduled operator.
Now the airline has to convince lenders, airport owners, tax authorities and employees about its viability and get no objection certificates. On Monday, Kingfisher was negotiating with the AAI for a clearance but it did not come.
“Kingfisher Airlines (had) applied for renewal of its licence as a scheduled carrier. Subsequently, we submitted a restart and rehabilitation plan to the DGCA and also attended meetings to respond to queries. The plan itself clearly states that the funding required would be provided by The UB Group,” Kingfisher Airlines said in a statement.
“The DGCA has asked for certain no objection letters which are in the process of being procured. Further, a few additional questions have been raised which will be answered to the regulator’s satisfaction,” the statement added.
“Despite the impending expiry of its licence tonight [Monday], there is no cause for concern as the regulations permit licence renewal within two years of expiry. Kingfisher Airlines is confident of securing approval from the DGCA on the restart plan, licence approval and reinstatement of its AOP,” Kingfisher spokesperson said.