The beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines on Saturday started paying the May salaries. Some of the ground staff and cabin crew have been paid and the remaining employees are expected to be paid in the next few days.

“Some ground staff and cabin crew whose salary accounts are in Axis Bank have been paid,” said a pilot.

However, sources said there was still no clarity on when the airline would restart operations, though the payment of salaries did offer a glimmer of hope that the airline will be able to take to the skies soon.

The payment of salaries comes days after the airline management wrote to the Secretary, Civil Aviation, seeking more time to submit a comprehensive revival plan to the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation.

Sources claimed that in the communication the airline said that it had started a dialogue with the stakeholders, including the Airports Authority of India and private airport operators, it owes money to. The debtors are said to be insisting that the airline clears its dues before it is allowed to restart operations.

On October 1, the airline ceased operations after engineers refused to certify aircraft for flight, protesting non-payment of wages for seven months. The DGCA had suspended Kingfisher’s flying licence on October 19 after a lockout. The airline had failed to come up with a viable plan for its revival.

Its largest lender, State Bank of India, said the airline should infuse at least $1 billion by November 30 for its revival.

Kingfisher has accumulated losses of about Rs 9,000 crore as on September 30.

(This article was published on November 17, 2012)
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