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KFA pilots pin hopes on Gopinath venture

Last updated on: December 31, 2012 10:03 IST

KFA pilots pin hopes on Gopinath venture

With little hope of being airborne again in the near future, a section of Kingfisher Airlines pilots are pinning their hopes on erstwhile Deccan Air founder G R Gopinath's proposed new carrier and making frequent enquiries about its launch.

"With airlines like Jet Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir not hiring, Kingfisher pilots, who along with other employees have not been paid for the last eight months, are now hinging their hopes on Gopinath's new venture," sources said.

Some pilots are already in touch with Gopinath while others are betting on Kingfisher's revival, amidst talk of Chairman Vijay Mallya trying to rope in a foreign partner, they said.

First, we don't expect this (Kingfisher) airline to take off in the near future. Even if it does, it will be a low-scale operation as the management has suggested in the revival plan. How long we will have to sit without flying is anybody's guess," a pilot unwilling to be named said.

Kingfisher owes eight months' salary to its staff, despite a written assurance by Chief Executive Sanjay Aggarwal that salary arrears till June would be remitted before Christmas.

Aggarwal had promised the pilots that they would be paid their May salary in November. In a settlement reached earlier, employees were to be paid their April salaries by October 31 and May salary by November 12. Salaries for June-September were to be paid once the company was recapitalised.

From October, the company was supposed to pay salaries a month late, which meant the October salary would be paid by the last week of December, he had assured, following which the almost a month-long agitation by pilots and engineers was called off.

"Let alone the June salary, a good number of pilots have not received even payment for May," they said.

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