Millennium Post

DGCA to Kingfisher: how about cancelling your licence?

In what could spell more trouble for Kingfisher Airlines, the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation [DGCA] issued a show-cause notice on Friday, asking why its flying license should not be suspended or cancelled as it had grounded its entire fleet and failed to offer safe and reliable service.

With the liquor baron Vijay Mallya-owned airline having declared a lockout till 12 October, the DGCA issued the notice to the crisis-ridden carrier, giving it 15 days to reply. In the notice, the DGCA chief Arun Mishra said that it had been observed that the airline did not adhere to its flight schedule and 'abruptly cancelled their flights time and again during the last 10 months', causing great inconvenience to the travelling public.

He also took note of the lockout which had led to the 'suspension of all their flights' and that the airline had 'failed to establish a safe, efficient and reliable services as required' under the rules. Maintaining that this amounted to Kingfisher not complying with the provisions of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, the regulator asked the airline why action should not be taken against it for this 'violation'.

The civil aviation minister Ajit Singh took a strong note of the situation facing the private carrier and said besides the lockout, the DGCA was also studying the implications of the strike by the employees. 'There are a lot of factors involved in it, including the salaries of the employees, their disgruntlement issues and others. If the employees are disgruntled there is an issue of safety. In order to give them permission to fly, they have to satisfy the DGCA on all these issues,' he said.

In Delhi and Mumbai, the angry staff of the airline staged protest demonstrations, wearing black-bands and carrying placards, to demand speedy disbursal of their dues. In the evening, they held a candle-light vigil in Delhi to condole the death of the wife of a Kingfisher employee who committed suicide on Thursday, apparently because of financial stress due to non-payment of salaries.
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