Tumultuous year for Indian aviation
The year also saw the government coming to the aid of Air India by promising additional equity of Rs 30,231 crore in tranches between 2012 and 2021 provided the airline fulfils the tasks set out for it in a time-bound manner as per its Turnaround and Financial Restructuring Plans.
While a strike by pilots disrupted Air India operations for 58-days, Kingfisher Airlines' engineers and pilots also struck work over non-payment of several months' salary dues.
This led the airline to declare a lockout, grounding its entire operations. Soon thereafter, aviation regulator DGCA suspended its flying permit, which in any case expires on December 31.
The Vijay Mallya-owned carrier has now submitted an interim revival plan to resume limited operations from 2013. But it can do so only 6-8 weeks after DGCA allows it to fly again due to refresher training and medical tests of its crew.
The problems which led to the closure of Kingfisher Airlines cannot be seen as teething troubles or natural pains of an emerging sunrise sector but were more systemic in nature, industry sources said while referring to other carriers which suffered losses but carried on flying.
High taxes on jet fuel was a major concern for the entire industry which led the government to allow the carriers to directly import the item.
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