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Kingfisher operations may be hit as 50 pilots ‘report sick'

Ashwini Phadnis Nivedita Ganguly New Delhi/Mumbai | Updated on November 15, 2017

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The severely curtailed flight operations of Kingfisher Airlines could be further affected over the next two days. This follows pilots striking work protesting against the management not keeping its word on salary payments.

Airline sources said that almost 50 pilots, across the country, “reported sick” yesterday and did not turn up for duty even today.“We cannot continue to work with 2.5 months of salary pending. They cannot expect to run the company without paying employees,” a senior airline pilot said.

Late on Monday night, the airline Chairman, Mr Vijay Mallya, sent a mail to all employees saying that he takes “delay in salary payments very seriously” and was doing his best to prevent it from recurring.

“For those who did not receive their salaries yet, the process has started today (Monday) and you will receive your salaries over the next 48 hours. I am confident that these short-term issues will be behind us soon,” Mr Mallya said.

By late in the day, on Tuesday, news of salaries being paid started trickling in. The pilot agitation comes in the backdrop of the airline management earlier assuring them that their salaries would be paid by January 15.

Pilots said that they will not operate flights till salaries are paid.

When contacted, an airline spokesperson said, there were no flight disruptions due to the pilots' action. The cash-strapped airline has already severely curtailed its operations. During the current ongoing winter schedule, Kingfisher is said to be operating almost 50 per cent fewer flights than the 418 daily flights that had been approved by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation.

>ashphadnis@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 17, 2012

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