MUMBAI – Operations of cash-strapped, Kingfisher Airlines, continued to be disrupted for the third consecutive day, even as the government reiterated that it will not bailout the Vijay Mallya-led carrier.
“Government is not going to give any bailout or ask the banks to bailout any private airline or any private industry for that matter,” Ajit Singh, Civil Aviation Minister, told reporters. According to Singh, the the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is looking into the matter and is awaiting a reply from the airline. “DGCA is inquiring into the matter. Our first concern is about the ongoing flights and that passenger safety should not be compromised. Let us see what reply they (Kingfisher Airlines) give,” Singh said.
Singh blamed the crisis on the airline management for not paying its employees as a reason behind Saturday’s strike in Kolkata. “They did not give salary to their employees for many months, people went on strike in Kolkata. Naturally, the flights got cancelled,” Singh said.
On Sunday the regulator ordered an inquiry into the large-scale cancellations. “We have called for the cancellation data from all over the country. They did not inform us of any cancellation plans,” E.K.Bharat Bhusan, DGCA Director General told IANS. “This is unprecedented act which has led us to take this step (investigation),” Bhusan added.
According to a DGCA official, the airline has violated rule 140 section A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 by not seeking the prior approval of the regulator before curtailing its schedule and has already violated Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) regulations, which ensures compensation to the passengers in case of denied boarding, cancellations and delays.