Over Thirty Kingfisher Flights Cancelled - Passengers in a Fix
Daijiworld Media Network
Mumbai, Nov 10: Kingfisher Airlines, which is facing a financial crunch of serious proportions, scrapped over 30 flights in various sectors across the nation on Wednesday November 9. There are indications of more cancellations in the coming days, the details of which are expected to be given in course of time.
The unexpected bulk cancellation of flights gave rise to a sense of helpless and chaos among the passengers, who had booked tickets for Kingfisher flights, and who got stranded at various airports. Many of them had to pay exorbitant prices to buy tickets from other airlines at the last minute.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) served a notice on the airline over this unprecedented move on the part of Kingfisher Airlines. It has asked the airline to provide reply to the points raised by November 10.
Vijay Mallya, owner of the airline, had met top government officials from different ministries like finance and civil aviation last month, in a bid to explain to them that the airline will go into red further, unless fares are upwardly revised by a considerable extent urgently. It is understood that he had vehemently opposed the government’s initiatives at providing funds to government-owned airline, which works to the disadvantage of private operators. He had sought equal status to all the aviation companies operating in India, it is said.
It may be recalled that recently he had announced a decision to close operations of Kingfisher Red, a low-cost airline, within a few months. Kingfisher has been accumulating losses since it came into being in 2005, and its financial condition is said to be precarious. Its mounting dues to oil companies and airports have given rise to suspension of several flights in the recent past. It is learnt that it could not disburse salaries to its employees for August and September on time.
The sudden cancellation of flights may cost the company dearly, as it is expected to be ordered by DGCA to pay penalty to passengers over and above refunds. The prospects of the revival of the company by steering it into a profitable venture seem bleak. The prices of its shares, which have been nose-diving since the last some months, have crashed to around Rs 22.