New Delhi: After remaining grounded for over six months, Kingfisher Airlines on Wednesday sought regulatory approvals to relaunch its operations and submitted plans to the DGCA on infusion of funds and revival of its flights. "We have shared the funding and traffic plans. The initial funding to restart the airline will come from the (parent UB) Group. We have also requested that our (flying) licence be renewed," the airline's CEO Sanjay Aggarwal told reporters after meeting DGCA chief Arun Mishra in New Delhi.
Sources in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said they would examine the plan thoroughly before taking a call. Kingfisher's flying licence or the Scheduled Operator's Permit (SOP) was suspended in October and later lapsed in December after the airline was grounded following a strike by its employees, including pilots, over non-payment of dues. The meeting came months after DGCA sought written commitment from the promoters of the airline that additional funds will be infused by the parent company.
According to the plan submitted today, Kingfisher would resume limited operations with five Airbus A-320 and two turboprop ATR aircraft and gradually step up its operations by increasing the number of planes to 20. Though Aggarwal did not say by when he planned to relaunch the flights, the sources said Kingfisher cannot resume operations before Winter Schedule starting October.
Aggarwal also claimed that Kingfisher has "everything required to restart the airline" and said "we have submitted the NOCs (no objection certificates) also", but did not clarify which of its vendors had given the NOCs. The sources said while Kingfisher had obtained NOC from private airport operators, it was yet to get NOCs from the Airports Authority of India, tax authorities and banks. "They (Kingfisher) want to go ahead and therefore have requested for renewal of their SOP so that further action can be taken to restart the airline," a source said.