New Delhi, Jan 6: Reminding Indian air carriers not to take a ‘short-cut' on safety issues, DGCA today warned Kingfisher Airlines and Air India Express of stringent action if they did not come out with a “specific and realistic” time-table to meet all safety requirements.
Showing urgency on the safety issue, the country's aviation regulator has given time till Monday to both Vijay Mallya-owned private airline and Air India's low budget air carrier to come up with a firm time-line to fulfill the required safety parameters.
“We have told Kingfisher to come up with a firm time-line by Monday. A similar letter has also been sent to the (Air India's low-cost arm) Air India Express,” DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan told PTI here today. Kingfisher was asked to submit plans on how it would restore its flight schedules, curtailed since November, and proposals on its recapitalisation.
The decision followed a financial surveillance by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which found widespread sickness in the sector seriously impacting safety issues.
Following the report, DGCA issued a stern warning to all carriers, including these two, to take immediate rectificatory measures to resolve the lapses or face action.
“We have asked them to come up with specific and realistic time-table (to meet all safety requirements). We will be watching it closely,” Bhushan said.
Non-compliance would invite stringent action, he said, adding “we have various options to take against them”, including the final step of cancellation of their crucial flying permit.
Apart from cancellation of permits, the surveillance report recommended steps like curtailing of flight schedules and asking the carriers to fly a lesser number of aircraft which they can properly maintain.
As many as 157 slots of Kingfisher were withdrawn by DGCA as it was not operating them, with 21 out of the 60 aircraft fleet remaining grounded, sources said.