Kingfisher crisis: Relief for staff, Mallya meets pilots

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Vijay Mallya
Mumbai, Mar 16: Cash-strapped Kingfisher airlines promoter Vijay Mallya on Friday, Mar 16 met the pilots to discuss pending salary payment. It has been expected that the meeting has ended on a positive note.

On the other hand, the debt-ridden company has not paid its staff for the last few months. Over 18 flights from Mumbai and 80 flights from across the country were forcibly been cancelled by the airline.

According to the source, over hundred pilots turned up for the meeting and Mallya faced a series of questions following with salary payments queries, "Mallya was not very committal on the salary issue. But he was very proactive and he said that salary payment was on top priority. He said he will be doing his best," said a commander who attended the meeting.

Answering the queries, Mallya said that he had mentioned the dates for salary payments but could not implement it for the unforeseen development. Source claimed that "So he said, he did not want to set a deadline again and risk disappointing his employees."

"He said that a comprehensive salary settlement plan would be announced in a few days, but the first priority is to pay junior staff members," source added.

Pilots questioned about the salary payment as well as on the airline's survival strategy, choice of recruitments in certain top managerial positions.

"Mallya said that pilots who feel they are not mentally fit to fly because of the stress brought by salary delay should stay away from duty and decline to operate flights," commander said. "He even said that pilots who wanted to leave could do so and the airline will give them a no-objection certificate. Then he added that he hoped pilots gave him a chance instead of quitting on him."

"So it will be up to each pilot to decide whether to join duty from Friday. Many were of the opinion that they should, some said they will wait for a few more days," he added.

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