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Rediff.com  » Business » Ready to pay salaries in next few days: Kingfisher

Ready to pay salaries in next few days: Kingfisher

October 02, 2012 13:34 IST
A day after declaring a partial lockout, top officials of beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines met DGCA chief on Tuesday and promised to pay salaries of the staff held up for last six months in the next few days.

The airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal, who along with Executive Vice-President Hitesh Patel met DGCA chief Arun Mishra, blamed a small section of employees for the mess, saying it had led to suspension of all operations till Thursday. The airline has stopped sale of tickets till then.

Agarwal briefed the DGCA about the financial problems facing the crisis-ridden carrier as well as the next steps being taken to restore normalcy.

"We have shared the steps which we are going to take in the next few days with the DGCA. We have explained our position to DGCA," Agarwal said after the meeting.

Regarding pending salaries, he said: "We will clear the pending salaries in the next few days. I myself haven't got the salary."

Kingfisher has been saddled with a huge loss of Rs 8,000 crore and a debt burden of another over Rs 7,000 crore which it has not serviced since January.

Several of its aircraft have been either taken away by its lessors or grounded by the Airports Authority of India for non-payment of dues during the past few months.

Over 80 pilots and 270 engineers have been on intermittent strikes over the past few months, saying they had not been paid salaries since March this year.

The latest agitation launched by the engineers, supported by pilots, began on Friday. Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh made it clear that the airline would not be allowed to fly if safety was compromised.

"We will have to look at what their plans are....we will take a decision after reviewing the situation," he said.

Singh had suggested that since Kingfisher engineers were on strike, the airline could get its aircraft certified for flying by other certified engineers.

Following this, the airline, which has a fleet of Airbus aircraft, was understood to have initiated discussions with Air India and IndiGo to utilise their certified engineers to check their fleet. However, no firm agreements have yet been arrived at, airline sources said.

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