KFA should revive for its employees, passengers: Ajit Singh
With uncertainty over the revival of Kingfisher Airlines, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh today said the airline should present a satisfactory operating plan to the DGCA and work on its rescue plans for the sake of its employees, stakeholders and passengers.
He also pointed out that the airline has not renewed its licence which expired on December 31, 2012.
"They don't have a [SOP] licence today, if they decide to operate today then the rule says, they don't have to go through paperwork which a new operator has to. All they have to present a satisfactory operating plan to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation who would ensure financial stability before being allowed to fly," he said.
Singh said the airline should revive for the sake of its employees, banks, stakeholders and passengers.
"If they don't fly again there will be co-lateral damage," he said.
As per official estimates, the co-lateral damage could be on banks (which have lent the airline close to Rs 7,000 crore), airports around the country which are owed over Rs 250 crore (Rs 2.5 billion) and oil companies which also not been paid by the now defunct airline.
The cash strapped airline ceased operations on October 20 last year after it failed to pay employees salaries for close to eight months. The airline has about 4,000 employees on its rolls.
Asked about if his ministry was mulling an intervention for the sake of employees, Singh said, "We sympathise to them but the ministry can't do anything about payment of their due salary, may be labour ministry could do something."
Meanwhile, sources said that Jet Airways was in talks with the Gulf-based Etihad for stakes in the airline.
Etihad was looking for a partner to expand operations in India and other Asian markets, they added.