Kingfisher cancels flights as aircraft reconfiguration begins

Singapore
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India's Kingfisher Airlines has started cancelling some flights and reducing the frequencies on certain routes while it reconfigures its aircraft.

The airline could not give a figure on the exact number of flights cancelled, but said that these are "predominantly over weekends or on routes where there has been slow demand".

Media reports in India said that the airline cancelled 12 flights on Monday and also plans to cancel 31 flights daily for the next 12 days.

"The exercise will require a few of our aircraft to be out of service for the next few weeks, requiring a temporary modification of some of the flight schedules," Kingfisher said in a statement.

"This initiative is expected to result in improved operational flexibility and revenue productivity of our network, and is in line with our stated intent and commercial strategy going forward."

The carrier added that these aircraft will be put back into service immediately once the reconfiguration is completed.

The reconfiguration is in line with the carrier's announcement in September that it will get out of the low-cost market within the next four months and focus on the premium market instead.

The company started out as a full service operator offering premium and economy class options on international and domestic routes. However, for the last three years, it has also been operating ATR aircraft under the Kingfisher Red no-frills brand after buying low-cost carrier Deccan.

Kingfisher Red, however, has been unprofitable due to its high operating costs and low yields and the airline has been under pressure to revamp its operations to return to the black.