Reacting to the airline's reply, official sources said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was consulting legal experts on what action - suspension or cancellation of flying licence - could be taken against Kingfisher for failing to resolve the 21-day impasse with its employees over non-payment of seven-month salary dues and resuming operations.
"We will take a view on this very soon... probably within a couple of days," a source said, replying in affirmative when asked whether suspension was on the cards. Among the options could be suspension of flying licence or give them some more time.
The DGCA had issued a show-cause notice on Oct 5 to the liquor baron Vijay Mallya-owned airline asking why its flying licence should not be suspended or cancelled as it was not adhering to its flight schedule and "abruptly cancelling its flights time and again during the last 10 months", causing great inconvenience to the travelling public.
The DGCA had given the airline a 15-day time to reply to its notice, which was to expire on Saturday. Later, the airline issued a statement saying it had "extended the partial lockout until Oct 23, 2012. We had a positive meeting with employee representatives on Oct 17 and are hopeful of reaching common ground when we meet again next week.
"Currently, we anticipate resuming operations on Nov 6, subject to our resumption plan being reviewed and approved by the DGCA." The official sources made it clear that Kingfisher could not resume operations till the DGCA gave the final clearance.
The beleaguered carrier did not mention extension of the lockout in their "open-ended" reply to DGCA, they said, adding that the airline, in its letter, sought more time to prepare a response to the DGCA notice but did not give any deadline.