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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Kingfisher told to clean up act or shut down

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 03, 2012
First Published: 23:03 IST(3/10/2012) | Last Updated: 01:53 IST(4/10/2012)

Ailing Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) faces the prospect of a prolonged shutdown with the government making it clear that the Vijay Mallya-led carrier has to come up with a credible operational plan that satisfies not only the aviation regulator but also its employees.

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An interim report submitted by the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) to the aviation ministry is believed to have noted with concern the state of affairs at the beleaguered carrier, which hasshut operations till October 4, and has stated that non-payment of salary was a matter a serious concern.

The DGCA report has stated that the airline should ensure that no disgruntled employee is allowed near an aircraft when it resumes operations in a clear indication that it feared sabotage.

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The report has said that KFA could resume operations only if it could ensure "certainty of operations", its planes were certified by engineers before each flight and that the DGCA would post its own officials to ensure that each flight is being certified as per rules.

"The airline has been asked to sort out salary issues with employees and there should be a proper information system on cancellations," a senior official said.

"KFA has to come up with a credible plan that should also be accepted by its own employees. They have to ensure that employees don't strike work again next week," aviation minister Ajit Singh said.

The airline, Singh said, will be allowed to resume operations if it satisfied the aviation authority on safety issues, maintains integrity of schedule and has a minimum number of pilots to operate the flights.

"Safety of passengers and that they are not inconvenienced is of prime concern to us," Singh said.

The talks between management and employees held in Mumbai on Wednesday failed and pilots said they would not be attending a meeting called by the management in Delhi on Thursday.

KFA shares plunged nearly 5% to close at R14.60 as all its flights remained cancelled for the third consecutive day.

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