Saturday, February 18, 2012

Exclusive! Kingfisher operates with a fleet of under twenty- more cuts on the way

Neelam Mathews
February 18, 2012

It’s not the best of times for five star airline, Kingfisher, that is believed to have flown only around 20 of its fleet of 66 on Saturday. Aerospace Diary now hears this will be cut down to another four aircraft on Sunday (Feb 19). Interestingly, these will be a mix of ATRs and A-320s.

This was confirmed by officials who told Aerospace Diary over five Kingfisher aircraft each were parked at Delhi and Mumbai airports.

Attempts to reach the corporate communications head to confirm or deny the report were met with no repsonse.

A letter to Kingfisher Airlines employees from senior management states that Kolkata will be pulled off from its routes from monday, while hinting Hyderabad will follow soon. The carrier is also looking at withdrawing from all its international routes starting with Dacca, Kathmandu, Colombo, Bangkok, and then London and Hong Kong. It is not clear if the DGCA has been informed of this decision.

A distraught employee tells us: “Now it seems as though if we survive for two months, then there may be further hope. Else, it’s time to pack up shop.”

Aerospace Diary also learns Kingfisher Airlines has signed two Memorandums of Interest (MOI) which will depend on the government clearing the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proposal gathering dust in government corridors. An analyst tells us there may not be too many surprises if it is not cleared given the opposition to it by many in the field.

Already, one hears, the panic caused following the recent Kolkata fiasco, may soon spread to other stations. Hopefully, as we have said before, the airline’s most valued assets- its people- will not be left in the lurch as its passengers have been.

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