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Corporate Mar 12, 2012

Kingfisher cancels 40 flights as pilots skip work

By Sindhu Bhattacharya

Forty Kingfisher flights have been cancelled as a number of pilots failed to show up for work on Monday. The airline cancelled 11 flights out of Mumbai, 3 out of Delhi, and is also looking to merge passengers from Kingfisher Red and its regular flights.

This comes even as one by one, Kingfisher Airlines' limbs are being chopped off.

If banks aren't lending, if pilots are quitting, if the taxman is seizing bank accounts, and fuel suppliers are putting a crimp on its lifeline, Friday's suspension by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) will affect all its overseas operations.

IATA has suspended Kingfisher Airlines for non-payment of dues.Reuters

IATA has suspended Kingfisher Airlines for non-payment of dues. Now, with 80 percent of its pilots refusing to fly aircraft over the non-payment of salaries, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has said that Vijay Mallya's airline plans to withdraw from Bangkok, Dhaka, Kathmandu and London in the summer schedule, which begins in a fortnight.

"Kingfisher Airlines' reported plans to withdraw from Bangkok, Dhaka, Kathmandu and London in summer 2012, effective 25 March, may reflect the carrier's withdrawal from the GDS timetable display," CAPA said an hour ago. But the Kingfisher website continues to display these routes for online bookings.

CAPA said Kingfisher has already halted services to Singapore and will also withdraw from Bangkok, since the resumption of its daily Delhi-Bangkok and Mumbai-Bangkok services from 25 March is now being cancelled.The carrier will also cancel its daily Kolkata-Bangkok and Delhi-Kathmandu services.

Besides, the daily Delhi-London (Heathrow) service will be withdrawn from 10 April while the daily Mumbai-London (Heathrow) service will be suspended from 16 April. "The carrier (is) expected to surrender one of its London Heathrow slots as a result. The carrier also plans to temporarily suspend the Mumbai-Hong Kong service from today (Monday) till 4 April," CAPA said.

The planned resumption of the daily Delhi-Kathmandu service has been cancelled from 25 March and even the daily Kolkata-Dhaka service may be withdrawn. At present, Kingfisher's limited international network comprises under 10 destinations, with the carrier's largest international routes being Delhi-London (3,038 weekly seats in the current week), London (Heathrow)-Mumbai (3,038 seats) and Mumbai-Hong Kong (also 3,038 seats).

by Sindhu Bhattacharya

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