The scheduled flying licence of grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines has expired, although the airline said the latest setback was “no cause for concern”, as it continues to secure approval for a restart plan.

The carrier has not flown since October last year, following strikes by crew and ground staff over unpaid wages, and the suspension of its flying permit by the Indian Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Kingfisher had applied for the renewal of its licence, but the permit expired on December 31, after the carrier failed to provide sufficient details on the funding of operations.

In a statement published just prior to the expiration of the licence, the airline said:

“Kingfisher Airlines applied for renewal of its Licence as a scheduled carrier. Subsequently, Kingfisher Airlines submitted a restart and rehabilitation Plan to the DGCA and also attended meetings to respond to queries.

“The plan itself clearly states that the funding required would be provided by The UB Group. The DGCA has asked for certain no objection letters which are in the process of being procured. Further, a few additional questions have been raised which will be answered to the regulators satisfaction.

“Despite the impending expiry of its Licence tonight, there is no cause for concern as the regulations permit Licence renewal within two years of expiry. Kingfisher Airlines is confident of securing approval from the DGCA on the restart plan, Licence approval and reinstatement of its AOP.”

In December Kingfisher confirmed it was “in discussion with various investors, including Etihad Airways, for equity investments in the company” (see online news December 12, 2012).

Local media reports at the time suggested that Etihad is looking to take a 48 per cent stake in the Indian carrier, although this has not been confirmed by either airline.

For more information visit