Manmohan Singh will explore ways of getting Kingfisher Airlines get out of crisis

   Nov 12, 10:26 pm

On Board Special Aircraft, Nov 12(ANI): The Central government will "find ways and means" to help revive the Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said today.

"Private sector airlines have to be managed efficiently, but if they do get into difficulties we have to find ways and means to help them get out of the process," Dr. Singh said while interacting with mediapersons on a flight back to India after a four-day visit to Maldives.

"But I have not applied my mind to the Kingfisher problem. When I get back I will talk to Vayalar Ravi (Union Civil Aviation Minister) and we will explore ways and means in which the airlines can be helped," he added.

The Kingfisher Airlines has grounded as much as 120 flights in the past four days.

Media reports had earlier claimed that the airline, facing a financial crunch, had sought help from the Central government.

Having suffered a loss of over 10.27 billion rupees in the year ending March 2011, reports also reveal that the airline owes 2.2 billion rupees to the Airports Authority of India alone.

Earlier, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had issued a show-cause notice to Kingfisher Airlines asking why it had not taken the regulator's prior approval to curtail its flight schedules as is required by this rule.

"We have issued a notice to them under Rule 140(A) of Aircraft Rules," DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan had said.

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 carrier 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.

The aviation regulator, through the notice, asked Kingfisher whether it had kept in view the provisions of Civil Aviation Requirement on the "facilities to be provided to passengers in case of denied boarding, flight cancellations and flight delays". By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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