In the latest twist to the Kingfisher Airlines crisis, sources on Friday said that the money to revive the cash-strapped airline will come from Vijay Mallya's UB Group as there is no investor available in the near term.
Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwal met the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officials on Friday afternoon and will now meet Mallya to discuss the revival plan.
The meeting came after the striking employees and management shook hands on a staggered salary payment plan on Thursday. The breakthrough came just in time for Mallya to land in Delhi on Friday and head straight for the Indian Grand Prix.
Now, all aircraft will have to undergo checks and be cleared. The engineers and the pilots have to attend operational preparedness meetings with the DGCA before being cleared for operations. The financial viability plan will be submitted to the airline regulator soon.
The troubled airline will get the clearance only after Airport Operators, Oil PSUs, MROs, ground handling agents and vendors agree to the payment terms set by Kingfisher management. Sources added that slots are available for Kingfisher but they will have to submit a realistic winter schedule.
Commenting on the meeting with the DGCA, Aggarwal said, "Just wanted to understand what the DGCA wants from us in revival plan. We will present a revival plan soon but there is no time frame. Discussed various issues with the DGCA today and it said that they are looking forward to Kingfisher Airlines' operations to start."
After 25 days of protest, a lockdown and a suspension of license, the airline is limping back towards normalcy. The airline management is expected to meet the DGCA on Friday after its employees finally agreed to return back to work.
All Kingfisher flights have remained suspended since September 30 due to the strike, followed by a lockout from October one and then suspension of their Scheduled Operator's Permit (SOP) or the flying license by aviation regulator DGCA. The license of Kingfisher was issued on August 26, 2003, and is valid till December 31, 2012.
The carrier, which early in 2011 had a fleet of 66 aircraft, now has ten including seven Airbus A-320s and three ATR turbo-props. It is saddled with a loss of Rs 8,000 crore and a debt burden of another over Rs 7,524 crore, a large part of which has not been serviced for several months.
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