A day after it declared a partial lockout and suspended flight operations till October 4, there was still no clarity on when the Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) would be able to resume normal operations.
Striking KFA pilots and engineers are demanding that they be paid salaries for at least four of the seven months' due.
Sources said DGCA chief Arun Mishra, who met top KFA executives on Tuesday, also asked them to start giving salaries. However, sources said the KFA can currently afford to pay only a month's salary.
“We hope the situation will be resolved in a few days. We will take a call on resuming operations on October 4,” KFA CEO Sanjay Agarwal said.
The staffers, however, bore a less cheerful outlook. “This company would have been locked out much earlier. It is only because of employees who, despite not being paid, have remained loyal to KFA. The management has crossed all limits. We have families to look after,” said a pilot.
Aggarwal said the March salary has been paid to nearly half the employees, and the remaining ones would get it in “a few days”.
Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh has made it clear that the airline would not be allowed to fly if passenger safety was compromised.
KFA, meanwhile, told the DGCA that “it will take 3-4 months to get the money (from foreign investors) into the airline, given the complexity of transactions.”