Aviation regulator starts fiscal monitoring of airlines

New Delhi : India’s aviation watchdog Friday commenced the monitoring of airlines to determine if they were in a position to devote resources for aircraft maintenance, given the financial strain some of them were in.

“We have started the financial monitoring from today,” Direcctor General of Civil Aviation E.K. Bharat Bhusan said.

According to the regulator, the monitoring process would asses if airline companies had adequate resources for maintaining and repairing their aircraft.

There have been fears that carriers may cut corners in taking all the required safety measures to bring down operating costs. Fuel, which constitutes 40 percent of the operating costs has risen by over 30 percent since December 2010.

“This (monitoring) is necessary because airline which are in financial mess, may not be able to fulfill all the safety requirements like maintaining their aircraft,” a senior official at the DGCA said, on account of anonymity.

“The airlines may not be allowed to add any more aircraft in their fleet. This will save resources for looking into the safety requirement of the existing fleet.”

The official said that monitoring was not a new step and that the DGCA had undertaken such checks during 2008-09 when the economy and the aviation industry in particular was witnessing a slump.

The DGCA also said that daily-flight operations of all the airlines are also being monitored and that notices have been issues to three airlines for cancelling or rescheduling flights.

“We have issued show-cause notice to IndiGo and SpiceJet for not operating their scheduled flights without informing us. Earlier we issued notice to Kingfisher,” the official said.

Under aircraft rules 140 (a) airlines need to take prior approval from DGCA before cancelling flights.

The notices to the UB Group promoted carrier comes after the airline said it will cancel 32 daily-flights till Nov 19 in order to rationalise the route plan and improve yields.

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