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Nov 10, 2011 at 10:39am IST

Kingfisher drops 80 flights, DGCA asks why

New Delhi: Hapless air passengers were inconvenienced across the country's airports after Kingfisher Airlines cancelled over 30 flights on Wednesday. As a result, most domestic flights and some international ones will now remain cancelled till November 19.

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a notice to Kingfisher under rule 140 (a) of the aircraft rules for not taking prior approval before cancelling flights.

The airline said they had to cancel flights as they were trying to reconfigure their aircrafts.

Chaos followed after passengers complained that they were not intimated about the Kingfisher cancellations. Many inconvenienced passengers had to rebook themselves on other airlines paying a premium of up to 20 per cent.

In the notice issued on Wednesday, the DGCA asked the airline to show cause why it had not taken the regulator's prior approval to curtail its flight schedules as is required by this rule.

Under it, an airline has to obtain DGCA's concurrence before starting a new route or discontinuing a flight at least a week before taking such a step.

The DGCA also asked the Vijay Mallya-owned carrier on what steps it has taken so far to take care of the passengers booked in the flights cancelled in terms of returning their airfares, accommodating them in their alternate flights or providing them alternate modes of transportation.

While three oil companies -- HPCL, IOC and BPCL, have stopped granting credit to Kingfisher for lifting jet fuel and put it on a cash-and-carry payment mode, Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Agarwal said that the situation was much better now.

Kingfisher has suffered a loss of Rs 1027 crore in 2010-11 and has a debt of over Rs 7057 crore.

Aviation sources said the airline has grounded eight of its leased turboprop ATR aircraft. Airport operators, too, are putting pressure on the airline to clear their dues relating to airport and other charges.

With Additional Inputs from PTI

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