Kingfisher Airlines has lost all its international traffic rights, with immediate effect.
India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Ajit Singh, confirmed the decision this week, saying that the airline’s rights had been withdrawn due to Kingfisher not utilising its allotted slots. The cash-strapped airline suspended all international services in April last year and has not operated any service – domestic or international – since October 2012.
In a statement released on Monday, Singh said the withdrawal of Kingfisher’s allotments would open up major opportunities for other Indian carriers.
“This would give additional availability of approximately 25,000 seats per week for use by other Indian carriers to these eight countries, some of which are much in demand by these carriers,” the minister said.
Kingfisher has permission to fly to Bangladesh (14 services per week), Hong Kong (14), Nepal (seven), Singapore (seven), Sri Lanka (14), Thailand (21), UAE (21) and UK (seven), from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Singh has also directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to withdraw Kingfisher’s domestic slots and reallocate them to other airlines. Jet Airways and IndiGo are likely to be keen on obtaining the spare international slots.
The move marks the latest nail in the Kingfisher’s coffin. The airline, which has never made a full-year profit since its launch in 2005, saw its air operator’s permit suspended late last year by India’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), while a rehabilitation plan was rejected by the DGCA earlier this year for not offering evidence of future investment.