The Government of India has suspended the license of struggling carrier Kingfisher Airlines with immediate effect.
India's Director General of Civil Aviation said Saturday that the authorities suspended Kingfisher's permit to fly following an unsatisfactory response from the airline to the Show Cause Notice served on them by the DGCA on October 5, 2012.
DGCA officials said Kingfisher Airlines had failed to address any of the issues raised during the meeting with the airline on October 2, 2012 and in the subsequent showcause notice.
Kingfisher engineers and other staff have been on strike since October 1 over non-payment of salaries for seven months. The airline responded with a lockout and suspended all its flights.
The strike prompted the Indian government to ask Kingfisher to submit an operational preparedness plan for resumption of flight operations.
But Kingfisher failed to do so and asked for additional time to respond to the government's show cause notice without indicating any time frame for submitting its detailed response.
The DGCA said until such time Kingfisher Airlines submits a concrete and reliable revival plan ensuring safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable Scheduled Air Transport Services to the satisfaction of DGCA, its license would remain suspended.
Promoted by flamboyant liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines has run up huge debts that it has been unable to service.
Kingfisher's lessors have taken over several aircraft after the airline failed to make lease payments.
Fate of Employees, Debt
The Indian government's decision to suspend Kingfisher's license casts a shadow on the fate of the airline's employees and repayment of the massive debt of $1.4 billion.
Kingfisher responded to the suspension of its license by immediately stopping all forward bookings till it resumes operations.
Kingfisher said it would submit its resumption plan to the DGCA for review after resolving the "issues with the employees."