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Salary row over, Kingfisher CEO meets DGCA chief

Salary row over, Kingfisher CEO meets DGCA chief
A day after resolving the impasse over salary issue with its employees, the Kingfisher Airlines top brass discussed revival plans with aviation regulator DGCA on Friday.

'It was a general meeting. We had a discussion with the DGCA to get a better understanding about presenting the revival plan (of the airline). We will get back to them very soon,' airline CEO Sanjay Aggarwal said after a 30-minute meeting with DGCA chief Arun Mishra.

'We have not submitted any revival plan yet. But we will present it soon. No time-frame has been specified,' he said when asked by when they planned to submit their revival plan as well as revocation of suspension of their flying license (Scheduled Operator's Permit) by the DGCA.

The license of Kingfisher was issued on 26 August 2003, and is valid till 31 December this year.

Later, DGCA sources said that Aggarwal and Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya would soon discuss among themselves the operational and financial plan for revival of the cash-strapped carrier.

This would include the number of aircraft they have, the routes they want to operate on, apart from financial issues including debt repayment, the sources said, adding they would have to submit a comprehensive plan on all these issues to convince DGCA to revoke suspension of their flying permit.

But resumption of Kingfisher's flights may take at least 3-4 weeks as the airline would have to satisfy the DGCA on safety issues as well as the viability of their financial and operational plans.

Kingfisher employees have already resumed work after a 27-day strike and a 25-day lockout which was lifted by the management as it agreed to pay by December-end four months salary dues to the employees in a staggered manner.

The employees had earlier stepped up the heat demanding an immediate settlement while threatening to take their protest to the the upcoming Formula One Grand Prix in which  promoter Mallya is involved.


MALLYA THANKS ‘ALMIGHTY’ FOR LOSING BILLIONAIRE TAG

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Friday thanked ‘the Almighty’ for losing the billionaire status, and hoped that it would lead to ‘less jealousy, less frenzy and (less of) wrongful attacks’ on him.

Often referred to as ‘King of Good Times’, Mallya has slipped out of the billionaire league in the Forbes rich list, as ‘bad times’ in his aviation business have dragged down his networth to below the USD 1 billion mark. According to the business magazine’s latest list of 100 richest people in India that was published yesterday, Mallya is now ranked 73rd with a fortune of USD 800 million (about Rs 4,285 crore) – a sharp plunge from 49th place last year with a fortune of USD 1.1 billion. Reacting to the new list, Mallya tweeted this morning: ‘Thanks to the Almighty that Forbes has removed me from the so called Billionaires list. Less jealousy, less frenzy and wrongful attacks.’

Mallya still ranks well above Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways, who has been ranked at the 94th position with a fortune of USD 600 million.Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines, part of Mallya-led UB Group, is going through the turbulent time for several months now and had to halt operations earlier this month.    
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