Kingfisher treads dangerously by permitting flight booking on website

The embattled Indian airliner, Kingfisher Airlines, once the five-star rated airline by the reputed Skytrax, is being cornered fast over its financial troubles. With government turning the heat on it by issuing notice asking it to explain why its license shall not be cancelled and the airline grounding it fleet for an indefinite period, nothing seems to be going right for it. With staff salaries still remaining unpaid for long, lenders not willing to listen to it anymore and the regulator posing tough but genuine conditions before allowing it to fly again, the troubles are never ending. By taking the step of allowing flight booking on its website, which would largely be seen as a blatant violation of rules, the airline is embarking on a collision course with the government.

It shall be noted that before the lock-out condition, the airline tried to stay afloat by even offering the cheap flights in domestic sector, much below the rates of even the LCC carriers. But, due to non-payment of salaries and the erratic flight schedules, the people were reluctant to book tickets on it. Further, even the travel agencies refused to do its flight booking as it was bereft with the prospect of high cancellations and total refunds along with causing a lot of inconvenience to the customers.

The government had asked the airline to submit a sustainable recovery plan including the plan to pay the salaries to the employees. Further, the regulator, DGCA, has issued the notice which has to be replied by October 20. Given that the airline has started issuing the tickets before replying to the notice and before submitting the recovery plan to the government, the airlines seems to be locking horns with the government. Whether the passengers would still prefer to fly with it remains to be seen.

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