Safety concerns over India’s Kingfisher Airlines

2012-01-05 09:19

Severe financial problems afflicting Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines could affect its safety standards, aviation authorities said in a report leaked today.

The Times of India newspaper said an audit by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation into several airlines suggested Kingfisher’s flying licence might be under threat due to safety issues.

“A reasonable case exists for a withdrawal of their (Kingfisher’s) airline operator permit as their financial stress is likely to impinge on safety,” the Times quoted the report as saying.

The audit also criticised state-run no-frills carrier Air India Express, saying a “case exists for restricting their operations in view of safety issues”.

An Air India Express plane crashed on landing in southern India in May 2010 killing 158 people.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation chief Bharat Bhushan confirmed the audit to AFP and said the two airlines had been asked to come up with “rectification measures”.

Kingfisher, which is owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, has been facing financial problems due to huge debts and is struggling to stay afloat.

The airline stopped its low-cost Kingfisher Red service in September, and more recently grounded 15 aircraft because it was unable to pay maintenance costs.

The airline has not posted a profit since its launch in 2005, with the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation estimating it needs urgent capital of $400 million (about R3.3 billion) to $500 million.

A Kingfisher spokesperson said that “no inference can be drawn from this (audit) and Kingfisher is operating its scheduled service with utmost safety.”

An Air India Express spokesperson also defended its safety standards.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.