MUMBAI - Shares in India's beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines tumbled close to a record low early Tuesday on fears that the debt-laden carrier could lose its flying licence.
The firm dived 11.9 per cent to 17.7 rupees (S$0.44) in early trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange, close to their all-time-low of 17.55 rupees reached in November.
The regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has summoned Kingfisher chief Vijay Mallya for a meeting Tuesday in New Delhi to discuss its future, media reports said Tuesday.
"We have summoned the airline chief to explain his position," India's civil aviation regulator Bharat Bhushan said, according to the DNA newspaper.
Kingfisher has been forced to cancel flights because of a strike by pilots and other operational difficulties, running around 100 flights a day instead of its scheduled 175.
A spokesman for the airline declined to comment on the reported meeting with the DGCA on Tuesday.
In an separate development Anil Kumar Ganguly, an independent director, quit the Kingfisher board on health grounds - the second director to exit within a week.
The announcement comes just days after former tennis star and sports commentator Vijay Amritraj left the company due to an "increase in his travel schedule and commitments".
Ganguly's exit means that all the independent directors of the firm have now quit in the past six months.
Kingfisher last week announced it was cutting some of its overseas flights in order to reduce costs.
Its bank accounts have been frozen by Indian authorities due to the non-payment of taxes and it has been dropped by a vital global payments and booking system run by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The carrier has never turned a profit since its launch in 2005 and owes millions of dollars to suppliers, lenders and staff.
Mallya has promised a full recovery plan for the carrier shortly and a solution to the ongoing pilots' row.