Kingfisher flying permit expires

New Delhi, Dec 31 (IANS) The flying licence of the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines, suspended by the aviation regulator, expired Monday.

It is learnt that DGCA officials sought additional details from the airlines on how it would fund its revival plan submitted to the aviation regulator for resuming its flight operations.

The licence was due for regular renewal by Dec 31.

Last week, the airline had submitted an application for renewal of its Scheduled Operator's Permit (SoP) to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The airline has not operated its flights since Oct 1, when it grounded its planes owing to a strike by employees over unpaid salaries.

Thereafter, the DGCA suspended Kingfisher's scheduled operator's permit Oct 20, as the company failed to provide a convincing plan to resume operations.

The expiry of licence means that Kingfisher will have to follow a longer procedure to get government approval to restart operations.

As per provisions, the company can come back in two years and apply for renewing of licence.

In its revival plan, KFA said it would need Rs.6.52 billion ($119 million) over a year to pay salaries, refurbish planes and fund operations.

The company has been in talks with Etihad Airways to sell stakes to meet the working capital requirements and salary payments to employees.

The lenders recently turned down promoter Vijay Mallya's demand for bank guarantees even though he promised to invest at least Rs.105 crore in its equity by February.

Kingfisher has losses of Rs.8,000 crore and a debt burden of another over Rs.7,524 crore.

Kingfisher shares ended the day at Rs.14.92, down 2.36 per cent from its previous close on the Bombay stock Exchange.

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