If there was an iota of possibility of the revival of cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines (KfA), it flew out of the window on Monday as the Civil Aviation Ministry decided to withdraw all its flying slots — both domestic and international — and allot them to other operators.
KfA, which has been grounded since October last year, saw its name taken off the domestic carrier list after its Scheduled Operators Permit (SOP) expired on December 31, 2012. Late on Monday, agencies quoted senior officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry as saying, “These traffic rights have been withdrawn from Kingfisher Airlines on account of non-utilisation by it. It used to have as many as 126 flying slots for international flights to eight countries which have now been withdrawn.” According to officials, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), to whom KfA owes over Rs 300 crore, was directed to allot the domestic slots across various airports to other airline operators.
Chairman of the airline, Vijay Mallya, in his letter on January 16 had said the holding company (United Breweries Limited) would infuse Rs 650 crore to restart operations in a phased manner to revive the carrier. Further, on February 19, UBL increased its loan limit to Rs 750 crore to the carrier.