The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a show-cause notice to Kingfisher Airlines after the latter cancelled at least 80 flights over the past three days, saying it was taking some of its aircraft off flight schedules to add business class seats on them.
"We have issued a notice to them under Rule 140(A) of Aircraft Rules," DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan said.
In the notice issued, the DGCA asked the airline to show cause why it had not taken the regulator's prior approval to curtail its flight schedules as is required by this rule.
Under it, an airline has to obtain DGCA's concurrence before starting a new route or discontinuing a flight at least a week before taking such a step.
The DGCA also asked the Vijay Mallya-owned carrier on what steps it has taken so far to take care of the passengers booked in the flights cancelled in terms of returning their airfares, accommodating them in their alternate flights or providing them alternate modes of transportation.
The aviation regulator, through the notice, asked Kingfisher whether it had kept in view the provisions of Civil Aviation Requirement on the "facilities to be provided to passengers in case of denied boarding, flight cancellations and flight delays".
The airline, which cancelled about 30 flights on Wednesday, has said in a statement that "for a limited period, these flights are either being cancelled or clubbed with other Kingfisher flights in a well-controlled and pre-determined manner.
"In continuation of our earlier announcement to focus on the full-service market, KFA has initiated reconfiguration of its aircraft," the King fisher Airlines statement added.