Millennium Post

KFA managers, workers fail to agree

KFA managers, workers fail to agree
The crisis in Kingfisher Airlines worsened on Wednesday, as reconciliatory talks between the management and striking engineers and pilots over payment of seven-month salary backlog failed, with the protestors rejecting the offer of part payment and vowing to continue their agitation.

With no end to the deadlock, a question mark hung over the airline's plans to resume operations from Friday, after a four-day partial lockout and complete suspension of all operations since Monday night.

'Our strike will continue as management has failed to give any commitment on payment of salary,' a representative of striking Kingfisher engineers and pilots, Capt. Vikrant Patkar, said in Mumbai.

On its part, the management offered to pay one month's salary soon and 'expedite the payment of the remaining six months as soon as the company gets recapitalised,' an airline official said on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation [DGCA] submitted an interim report on the crisis to the civil aviation ministry, touching upon issues ranging from operational safety to the financial crunch. It is understood to have referred to the six-day strike, followed by the partial lockout declared by the management till Thursday, and said that safety of operations has been seriously jeopardised.

The Kingfisher lenders, though, expressed hope that the company management would not let the airline go down and said that banks would be a bigger casualty if it goes bust. '[The lenders] favour seeing the airline turn around and not getting grounded. We hope the promoters won't let the present crisis get more complicated. After all, we don't think chairman Vijay Mallya will let his image be tarnished by letting the airline go belly up,' a senior official of a public sector bank said.
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