New Delhi: Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, grounded since 1 October, has got the aviation ministry and regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation in a bind. Dozens of airline’s Airbus A320 and ATR aircraft are parked across the country’s key airports.
Most are leased and lessors have been asking the aviation regulator to deregister these aircraft from its registry as the cash-strapped airline has not paid them money. Once deregistered, an aircraft can be taken away and flown to another country. The regulator has also received communication from government’s tax authorities that they have attached several of the planes as the airline has not paid taxes. The regulator is therefore unsure how to deregister these aircraft.
The aviation ministry has been holding several discussions on the matter with airports, lessors and the regulator, but a final call is yet to be taken. Some of these aircraft that had gone to Istanbul for maintenance have also not been dereisgtered as they could be taken over by the lessors immediately from a foreign land. International lessors have said this precedent of India will make it difficult for new Indian airlines to lease aircraft in the future.