Kingfisher promises to resume operations in a few days

Written by: Pti
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Vijay Mallya with Kingfisher

New Delhi, Oct 3: Kingfisher Airlines, which has declared a partial lockout, today said it would resume operations in a few days and the backlog of March salary would be given to its employees soon.

Top officials of the airline, who met DGCA chief Arun Mishra, also exuded confidence that foreign airlines and other investors were ready to invest in the beleaguered carrier.

The airline had declared a partial lockout last night, grounding all its flights, after its engineers and pilots struck work on Friday to protest non-payment of salaries since March.

A representative of the protesters said, "The airline management has made such promises earlier too but not fulfilled them. So, we have adopted a wait and watch policy."

The airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal, who along with Executive Vice President Hitesh Patel met DGCA chief Arun Mishra, blamed a small section of employees for the mess, saying it had led to suspension of all operations till October four.

"We are hopeful that we will resolve the situation in the next few days. We will take a call on October four on resumption of our operations," Agarwal told PTI after his meeting with the DGCA.

The airline would be using ten aircraft -- seven Airbus A-320s and three turbo-prop ATRs, to resume flights. He said the March salary has been paid to nearly half of the employees and the remaining ones would get it over the "next few days".

Over 80 pilots and 270 engineers have been on intermittent strikes over the past few months. Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh today made it clear that the airline would not be allowed to fly if safety was compromised. "We will have to look at what their plans are....we will take a decision after reviewing the situation," he said.


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