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Kingfisher meets DGCA over revival

New Delhi, Oct 26 (PTI):Kingfisher Airlines, which resolved a dispute with its unpaid employees on Thursday, met the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday to discuss how it should go about filing a revival plan.

“It was a general meeting. We had a discussion with the DGCA to get a better understanding about presenting the revival plan (of the airline). We will get back to them very soon,” airline Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Aggarwal said after a 30-minute meeting with DGCA chief Arun Mishra here.

“We have not submitted any revival plan yet. But we will present it soon. No time-frame has been specified,” he said when asked by when they planned to submit their revival plan as well as revocation of suspension of their flying license (Scheduled Operator's Permit) by the DGCA.

The license of Kingfisher was issued on August 26, 2003, and is valid till December 31 this year.

Later, DGCA sources said that Aggarwal and Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya would soon discuss among themselves the operational and financial plan for revival of the cash-strapped carrier.

This would include the number of aircraft they have, the routes they want to operate on, apart from financial issues including debt repayment, the sources said, adding they would have to submit a comprehensive plan on all these issues to convince DGCA to revoke suspension of their flying permit.

But resumption of Kingfisher's flights may take at least 3-4 weeks as the airline would have to satisfy the DGCA on safety issues as well as the viability of their financial and operational plans.

Kingfisher employees have already resumed work after a 27-day strike and a 25-day lockout, which was lifted by the management as it agreed to pay by December-end four months salary dues to the employees in a staggered manner.

The striking employees had earlier stepped up the heat demanding an immediate settlement while threatening to take their protest to the upcoming Formula One Grand Prix in which airline promoter Mallya is involved.

“We will now finalize and present our resumption plan to the DGCA and hope to get their concurrence soon,” a Kingfisher spokesperson said.

The carrier, which early last year had a fleet of 66 aircraft, now has ten -- seven Airbus A-320s and three ATR turbo-props. It is 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 has not been serviced for several months.