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Kingfisher blueprint for restart

New Delhi, Dec. 24: Ailing carrier Kingfisher Airlines has submitted a revival plan to the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) to restart operations.

The DGCA had suspended Kingfisher’s flying permit two months ago and warned that its licence would not be revived till the airline submitted a revival plan. The licence is due to expire on December 31.

Sources said a revival plan was not only necessary to stave off the licence cancellation but prospective investors were not willing to come on board unless the licence impasse was resolved.

“We have received the plan, which was a pre-condition for reviving the licence when we suspended it on October 20 we will be looking into it,” senior DGCA officials said.

Officials of neither the DGCA nor the airline elaborated on the details of the plan.

Kingfisher chief executive officer Sanjay Aggarwal met the director-general of civil aviation Arun Mishra for over an hour today.

Aggarwal indicated at the meeting that Kingfisher would require about Rs 652 crore over the next 12 months. These funds would come from the UB group’s resources as banks were unwilling to fund the cash-strapped airline.

Of the Rs 652-crore, Rs 120 crore would be needed to meet salary arrears of its employees.

“The airline has plans to pay salaries to its employees in a phased manner. Now that they have submitted the plan we believe that they could start paying at least a part of these dues,” said a senior ministry official.

However, travel agents doubt whether the airline will be able to convince passengers to fly because of its history of flight cancellations. “If operations start, it would take a lot to convince passengers to go back to Kingfisher as on several occasions many had to suffer because of the airline’s erratic behaviour,” said Abhinav Tyagi, CEO Travel Asia.

 
 
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