Kingfisher in new bid to lift grounding rule

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Grounded Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines has submitted a new plan to restart its operations with India's directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA).

A source at the airline has confirmed with Flightglobal Pro that a new submission to the DGCA has been made, but no further details about the plan was provided.

The carrier was grounded in October 2012 following six years of heavy losses, and its operating licence expired in December. Prior to that, the airline was understood to have submitted a restart plan, but this was rejected by the DGCA because of the lack of details.

Major shareholder UB Group said in February that it was in talks with banks about debts owed by Kingfisher. However, recent media reports claim that some banks have already started to seize assets pledged as security for the airline's loans, including property and shares in other UB Group companies.

The DGCA has also recently started deregistering a number of aircraft, including Airbus A320s and ATR 72s, that were leased to Kingfisher. That has allowed some lessors to start repossessing their aircraft.

The Airports Authority of India also told Flightglobal Pro that the airline still owes it Indian rupees Rs 3 billion ($55 million), which will have to be cleared before it is allowed to fly to its airports.

Kingfisher reported a net loss of Rs7.6 billion for the quarter ended 31 December, during which the airline recorded no revenue.