Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya’s plans to resume operations of the airline, through an infusion of around Rs. 650 crore, has failed to impress the Civil Aviation Ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) who feel the revival plan is a half baked recipe. In addition to this, the DGCA is also of the view that the airline has not been able to submit no objection or all dues clearances certificates from a number of stakeholders including airports authorities, oil marketing companies (OMCs) as well as any assurance on how the company plans to pay its employees their long pending dues. “We are apprehensive about the consistency of operations of the airlines, the safety aspects, as well as the efficiency part. There is no talk of welfare of the employees and payment of their dues in the plan,” officials in the Ministry said.
Kingfisher Airlines had laid out plans to invest Rs. 650 crore as part of its plan to start flying again. The airlines had lost its operating licence on December 31, 2012 and has not flown since October.
Sources in the DGCA said there has been no comprehensive plan submitted by the company on how it plans to pay the airport operators, who have made it clear that they want their dues to be cleared before they allow Kingfisher to take flight.
Similarly, there has been little or no clarity on the issue of notices having been issued by various government departments including taxation matters. “They have talked about phased payment of salaries to the employees which may not be a feasible thing. There is also no word on what would the company do with such a big employee force, in view of its plans to start with curtailed operations. Any kind of resentment among employees will only compromise the security and safety aspects which could endanger the passengers, a situation we cannot afford to have,” sources said.
On Thursday, Mr. Mallya had written a letter to Kingfisher employees, who have not been paid for eight months now, after they threatened to file a winding up petition in the court under the Company's Act, if the management did not share its revival plan with them. The airline has not paid to its employees since May last year.
Four of Kingfisher's leased Airbus 320 aircraft had been deregistered by the DGCA on the request of lessor two years back. Kingfisher is burdened with a loss of Rs. 8,000 crore and a debt burden of another over Rs. 7,524 crore, a large part of that has not been serviced since January.