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Kingfisher to stop international flights, will operate with 15-16 flights


March 20, 2012 - New Delhi

Kingfisher Airlines is expected scale down operations with only 15-16 planes to be kept operational.

Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya who will be meeting the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chairman Bharat Bhushan today, is reportedly, in a detailed presentation has planned to stop all international flights by April 10.

Earlier in the day, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had said the government might cancel Kingfisher Airlines' license if safety norms and financial viability conditions were not met.

Singh added the government's main concern was to ensure passenger safety on the limited number of flights that Kingfisher was still running.

Kingfisher Airlines, which has a debt of 1.3 billion dollars, is facing collapse as banks have refused to lend more for day-to-day operations.

Adding to its woes, a massive cutback in flights has reduced revenues, leaving the carrier with little cash to pay its employees, airports and tax authorities.

The airline is one of the main casualties of high fuel costs and a fierce price war between a handful of budget carriers, which have ordered hundreds of aircrafts for delivery over the next decade in an ambitious bet on the future.

Rising jet fuel prices and cutthroat fare competition have taken their toll across the Indian airline industry despite passenger growth of nearly 20 percent last year.

Five out of six major carriers are losing money and analysts estimate the industry is on course to lose 3 billion dollars for the year ending next month.

ANI

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