“Request for early resumption of operations so that atleast we can start charter movement for defence ministry… and we simultaneously start selling inventory so that customer confidence can be restored… customers who are made to suffer very high fares can be provided with option,” the airline’s CEO Kaushik Khona “duly authorised by the resolution professional” has said in reply to clarifications sought by the DGCA.
The airline stopped flying on May 2 and Khana’s communication to the regulator has said 341 pilots have resigned.
“Pilots who are on resignation are counted as not being available from Day One. However there is possibility of their resuming duties with us once salaries are paid and they accept offer of salary increase including retention pay,” it says.
Perhaps with no investor roped in so far, Khona listed undrawn emergency credit line guarantee scheme (ECLGS) of Rs 208 crore; unutilised bank limits of Rs 181 crore and that it is in “discussion to arrange interim funding of Rs 200 crore for which LOI is awaited” as source of fund infusion to resume service.
The regulator had asked how the airline proposes to give refunds as per rules. “On resumption of services, all refunds for tickets arising out of flight cancellations shall be handled as per (rules). We have so far refunded the cancelled PNR to the mode of payment. Almost 98% of the PNR cancelled are booked through the travel agents and we have already credited to travel agents ID. Once flights are allowed to resume, travel agents will have better ability to refund the money to passengers.”
“On the PNR which were booked on our website and direct bookings, and for which PNRs are cancelled, the funds are already credited to the payment gateway. Refunds will start getting processed once funds are credited from the fresh bookings once those are allowed,” Khona says.
“Once operations resume, we have factored all payments including lease rent for aircraft to be deployed and maintenance reserve for payment to lessors starting August 2023. The expenditure for lease rent and maintenance of the operating aircraft for the month of June 2023 are expected to be paid from July 2023 onwards.”
The “arrangement with airport operators for resumption of operations” will be cash and carry once DGCA approves the resumption plan.