Kingfisher extends grounding to 20 Oct as DGCA deadline looms

Singapore
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India's Kingfisher Airlines has extended its grounding to 20 October.

The airline grounded its fleet and stopped operations on 1 October after several employees, some of whom were said to have not been paid for months, went on strike.

It says it is working with and appealing to the employees to return to work so that it can "share its resumption plan" with the country's directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA).

This is the second time that the airline has extended its grounding since 1 October. The carrier, which has never posted a profit in its six years of operation, initially suspended its flights until 4 October and then extended that to 12 October after failing to overcome an impasse with its employees. It now says that it is "hopeful of resuming operations starting" 21 October.

On 5 October, the DGCA issued a show cause notice to Kingfisher and asked it to explain why its air operator's certificate should not be suspended or cancelled. It must also prove that it has a plan to clear its debt, and that it can both resume operations and sustain them. The airline has been given until 20 October to respond to the notice.

The airline had two aircraft - an Airbus A320 and an A319 - when it was grounded, according to data in Flightglobal Pro.

Kingfisher cancelled its international services in March after a cash crunch, which led it to default on lease payments for the widebody and narrowbody aircraft in its fleet.