Quashing Kingfisher Airlines’ pleas to be allowed to ply again from this summer, the government on Tuesday announced withdrawal of all domestic and international flying slots of the grounded carrier with immediate effect.
These are to be allotted to other Indian airlines.
"It used to have as many as 126 flying slots for international flights to eight countries, now withdrawn, on account of non-utilisation," said the ministry.
Flying or airport slots are rights allocated to a scheduled airline by an airport operator or government agency, granting the slot owner the right to schedule a landing or departure during a specific time period.
Under bilateral rights’ agreements, Kingfisher was allowed to fly the skies of eight countries.
These were, with numbers of flight services allowed weekly in paranthesis -- Bangladesh (14), Hong Kong (14), Nepal (7), Singapore (7), Sri Lanka (14, plus 21 from an unlimited 18 destinations), Thailand (21), UAE Dubai (21) and Britain (seven each from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore).
These traffic rights were allocated to Kingfisher between 2008 and 2011.
The withdrawal of these slots would make available approximately 25,000 seats a week for use by other Indian carriers to these eight countries, some of which are much in demand by Kingfisher's competitors.
The government has also decided to withdraw the domestic slots allocated to Kingfisher at airports across the country, to mount domestic flights. Airports Authority of India has been directed to make these available to other domestic carriers, in line with their demand, according to the ministry.
When asked, a Kingfisher spokesperson declined to comment on the development.