Kingfisher Airlines is facing serious trouble with flight cancellations, pilots quitting services and aircraft leasers asking to return aircrafts. The airline has cancelled 36% of its allocated scheduled flights, 149 out of 418 daily flights from the winter schedule for the third day in a row yesterday. The airline claimed it was cancelling 50 flights every day till 19 November. Officially, the airline stated that it has cancelled flights to reconfigure its Airbus A-320 aircraft. But, a Times of India report states close to 130 pilots have quit from the airline services in the past few weeks.
When contacted in Dubai, Vijay Mallya, Chairman of Kingfisher Airlines did not comment on the disparity in the cancellations. He is reported to have assured the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that he would explain the cancellations. The truth of Kingfisher’s actual operations came to light when the DGCA directed all the airlines to submit the actual number of flights they would operate on Thursday against their winter schedule quota. Only Air India, Alliance Air, Jet Airways, JetLite and Go Air were found to have operated all the allocated flights.
Reports are also circulating the industry that that aircraft leasers who have lent aircraft to the airline, plan to take them back. Leasing firms like International Lease Finance Corp, Investec Global Aircraft Leasing and GE Commercial Aviation, are in talks with Kingfisher over taking back the planes, the Economic Times said.