A devastating employee strike (employees have not been paid for seven months) has forced Kingfisher, which is close to financial collapse, to cancel all flights for a minimum of a week.
The heavily in debt airline carrier has 15 days to respond, according to the regulator who said that Kingfisher has to be in a position to offer a reliable, safe, and efficient service, or face the possibility of having its flying permit taken away.
Friday’s notice from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has spurred doubts about the future of Kingfisher, which is owned by billionaire liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya.
In the notice from the chief of DGCA, Arun Mishra, the airliner was reprimanded for not adhering to flight schedules and abruptly canceling flights over and over in the last 10 months which caused great inconveniences to its passengers.
A spokesman for the Airline, Prakash Mirpuri, said that Kingfisher would forward a “detailed response” to the regulator. He added that the airline, which doesn’t have the money to pay its workers seven months of back pay, would hand in a comprehensive plan to restore services after it negotiates with its employees.
Kingfisher Airlines has been trying desperately to find a foreign airline to pump fresh capital into the company to keep it in the air; however, analysts doubt that any carrier would be willing to take an equity stake in the troubled airline.