Travellers suffer the most as India’s Kingfisher Airlines keeps on cancelling its flights. The airline grounded 30 flights on Thursday, the fourth consecutive day of flight cancellations. DGCA sends a show-cause notice to the carrier.
Kingfisher Airlines cancelled flights for fourth day in a row on Thursday to cause great inconvenience to passengers all over the country. More than 30 flights were grounded yesterday. This takes the total tally of flight cancelled in past few days to well over 100.
Chaos was the order of the day at various airports around the country as confusion ruled the roost with no clear information or guidelines coming out of the airline. Very few international flights have been cancelled so far but many foreign tourists on Indian holidays were concerned about their domestic travel within India.
Kingfisher Airlines is one of the biggest names in the India’s aviation industry and the company’s massive flight cancellations have left people in lurch. Those who made advance booking with Kingfisher Airlines in a bid to net cheap flight tickets were perhaps most disappointed with the grounding of flights.
Sources in the industry said that more than 30 pilots and crew members with Kingfisher have not reported for duty in the past few days on grounds of illness. There have been other unverified reports that say that some 100 pilots had quit the airline in past few weeks.
The airline’s flight schedule has also been affected with three oil companies - HPCL, IOC and BPCL – discontinuing the grant of credit to the carrier for lifting jet fuel. The oil companies have put Kingfisher on a cash-and-carry payment mode.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that Kingfisher has been sent show-cause notice as to why the airline had not taken the regulator's prior approval to limit its operations. The DGCA has also asked the Vijay Mallya-owned carrier to offer information regarding steps that have been taken by the airline to take care of the passengers with bookings on the flights that were cancelled.
Kingfisher is yet to reply to the DGCA’s notice.
Kingfisher Airlines had said in a statement: “For a limited period, these flights are either being cancelled or clubbed with other Kingfisher flights in a well-controlled and pre-determined manner.
“In continuation of our earlier announcement to focus on the full-service market, KFA has initiated reconfiguration of its aircraft,” it further said.
Chief Executive Officer of Kingfisher Airlines, Sanjay Aggarwal was quoted in news websites as stating, “We decided to reduce frequency in some of the routes where we had multiple flights like Delhi-Mumbai or low passenger load like Nanded-Mysore.”
Kingfisher Cancellations Cause Surge in Air Fares
Kingfisher Airlines’ cancellation of substantial number of flights over the period of four days means an increase in air fares for travellers. In the current scenario it has become extremely difficult for passengers to net cheap flight tickets for domestic travel.
Passengers at major airports in the country have complained of inconvenience. The have been forced to rebook on other airlines paying a premium of 20-40 per cent at the last moment.