Airlines in fresh trouble: Government initiates legal action against Kingfisher

The government has initiated legal action against Vijay Mallya-controlled Kingfisher Airlines after banks refused to honour cheques issued by the ailing carrier, even as the government served notices on Jet Airways and Spicejet over its overdues, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said today.

While action has been taken against Kingfisher Airlines "towards dishonour of the cheques submitted" by the carrier, Jet Airways and Spicejet face action over defaulting on payment of airport charges.

All but two major airlines in the country have defaulted on payment of airport charges, Ajit Singh informed the Lok sabha in a written reply, adding that IndiGo Airlines and privately-held Go Air are the only airlines in the country that have not defaulted on airport payments.

State-run Air India is almost bankrupt, and has not even paid employees, airport authorities and oil companies for months, the minister said.

Air India was forced to cancel several flights after its pilots went on a strike. The airline later moved court to restrain the pilots from continuing their stir.

''The government is trying to bail out and giving lot of money. But part of that bailout is that they have to perform. For the last three months Air India was doing better. Now, with this action, they should consider what the result would be,'' he said.