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Flying permit expires, clock starts ticking for Kingfisher

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SummaryCash-straPped Kingfisher Airlines’ scheduled operator permit expired on Monday and as per the regulations, the airline now has two years to furnish a detailed revival plan and seek renewal.

Cash-straPped Kingfisher Airlines’ scheduled operator permit expired on Monday and as per the regulations, the airline now has two years to furnish a detailed revival plan and seek renewal. At the end of the two years, if it wants to fly again the airline will have to apply for a flying permit afresh.

The airline had already applied for renewal of the licence and an interim revival plan in December. However, the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation was not satisfied and has sought additional details on the funding plan. “We are still waiting for more details on the funding,” said a senior official of the DGCA. “The interim plan had nothing concrete on the source of funding.”

On December 24, Kingfisher’s CEO Sanjay Aggarwal had informed the DGCA Arun Mishra that the airline’s promoter group, UB Group, will invest R652 crore over the next 12 months to restart operations in a limited manner. Of the money, R120 crore was to be paid to the employees.

However, a week later the UB Group companies have not held a board meeting or issued any statement saying that they will give additional funding the the debt-ridden airline. Bankers have also rejected any further funding to the airline.

United Breweries (Holdings), one of the promoter group companies of Kingfisher, has made equity investment of R2,109.31 crore until September 30 ,2012. The company also gave corporate guarantees to Kingfisher’s bankers to the tune of R6,631.35 crore and guarantees to its aircraft lessors of R2,125 crore.

The UB Group has not divulged the source of R652 crore mentioned in the interim revival plan. However, the United Breweries (Holdings) is set to receive R2,400 crore as part of the stake sale in group company United Spirits to Diageo.

A Kingfisher spokesperson declined to comment on whether a fresh revival plan is being worked upon.

The DGCA official added that if a detailed revival plan is submitted within the next two years, DGCA officials will undertake an audit of the airline’s fleet, staff and operational capabilities in terms of finances and the whole process takes six to eight weeks. “The only difference in Kingfisher’s case would be the timeline,” the official said. “Renewal happens quicker but we would begin the renewal process only after being given a satisfactory and detailed revival plan”.

“After two years, the process will be the same as that of a fresh

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