Is your airline safe? DGCA will soon find out

Is your airline safe? DGCA will soon find out

NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is conducting a financial audit of India’s airlines to ensure that they are not cutting corners on aircraft safety due to a fund crunch, news agency PTI reported on Sunday, quoting a source.

The DGCA has already conducted a financial audit of Indigo and Air India, which has been defaulting on salary payments to its employees, besides grounding a number of aircraft due to payment issues with vendors. Next in the line is Jet Airways on August 27, followed by Air Deccan and Air Odisha.

The two carriers, which together have been mandated to fly on 84 routes under the government’s regional connectivity scheme, had recently cancelled a number of flights, citing shortage of pilots and technical glitch in their aircraft, the source said.

Air Deccan had started operations in December last year while Air Odisha took to the skies in February this year.

The Ahmedabad-based GSEC Aviation and Monarch Networth Capital had last year acquired 100 per cent stake in Air Deccan and 60 per cent in Air Odisha.

India’s aviation industry has been beset by rising losses, collectively suffering a loss of Rs 2,500 crore in 2017-18 – a figure which is expected to balloon to Rs 3,600 crore in 2018-19 due to rising ATF prices, slowdown in adding new capacity and declining yields.

The Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways, in which Gulf carrier Etihad holds 24 per cent stake, is grappling with financial woes and its share price has also taken a beating in recent weeks.

On August 9, the board of directors of Jet Airways deferred the matter of consideration of the unaudited financial results for the June quarter.

Regulator Sebi is looking into Jet Airways’ deferring the announcement of the June quarter results following reservations expressed by the airline’s audit committee.

(With PTI inputs)

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