The truncated operations of cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines were further affected on Wednesday as a section of pilots went on strike protesting non-payment of back wages.

The pilots were not paid March salaries despite repeated assurances from the management. The pilot action forced the airline to cancel four flights from Mumbai and one from Delhi. It is now operating about 85 flights a day, down from the 118 it is permitted to operate. In January, the airline was operating more than 400 flights a day. This is the second time this month that the pilots have not reported for work. With most of the airline’s operations being from Mumbai and Delhi, the cancellations hit these two sectors most.

According to airport sources, the airline has been cancelling flights for more than a week now. The airline, which had a fleet of over 60 aircraft in January, now operates with 11 aircraft — six Airbus A-320 and five ATR.

Kingfisher reported a loss of Rs 651 crore in the April-June quarteragainst a loss of Rs 264 crore in the year-ago period.

In a recent report, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said that the debt-laden airline may have to shut its operations if $600 million is not infused in the next two months.

ashwini.phadnis@thehindu.co.in

Nivedita.ganguly@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 29, 2012)
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