Kingfisher Airlines CEO summoned to explain cancellations


New Delhi : India’s aviation watchdog has summoned chief executive of cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines Sanjay Aggarwal Tuesday to explain the large-scale disruption of its operations that continued for the third consecutive day Monday.

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“We have asked for a report from them (Kingfisher Airlines) on reasons behind the cancellations. The airlines’ CEO has been asked to appear before the director general tomorrow (Tuesday),” a senior official with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation told IANS.

According to the official, the regulator is awaiting a reply from the airline and only after the carrier clears its position that appropriate action will be taken.

“We cannot say right now what action will be taken as we are awaiting their reply. Currently we have asked all airlines to accommodate the stranded passengers.”

The carrier is operating only 16 of its fleet of 64 planes due to various operational reasons. The cancellations have affected incoming or outbound flights in major metros like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata.

The DGCA said it had already asked the airline to ensure proper facilities like accommodation and meals to the stranded passengers.

The airline has cancelled more than 100 flights since Saturday.

“Admittedly there have been flight disruptions which will continue for four days due to unexpected events, including bird strikes which rendered aircraft out of service. We, therefore could only operate 208 daily flights,” a Kingfisher official had said Sunday.

The regulator Sunday had ordered an inquiry into the large-scale cancellations. This is the second time in four months when the airline has cancelled such a large number of flights without taking prior regulatory approvals.

“We have called for the cancellation data from all over the country. They did not inform us of any cancellation plans,” DGCA director general E.K. Bharat Bhusan told IANS.

“This is an unprecedented act which has led us to take this step (investigation),” Bhusan added.