Inspite of being associated with the King of Good Times, Kingfisher Airlines' employees are not exactly having the time of their life.
The airline that has staff strength of around 7000, has seen 130 of its 650 pilots quit in the last six months.
While delayed salaries have become the norm over the last six months, the lack of communication from the management to employees is adding to anxieties.
At the tea stall outside the arrival gate, dozens of Kingfisher in-flight and ground-staff seemed quite stoic or resigned to the future, keeping tabs on news flashes across TV screens.
"We got 10-12% increment six months back but are not expecting any in near future," said an in-flight steward.
Increments, however, are the least of chairman Vijay Mallya's problems. Employee morale seems to be at its lowest and employees say the airline has failed to communicate properly to them the extent of its financial mess. Most are depending on media reports, they said.
"It's extremely upsetting when the management says that they can not reveal anything to their employees as they have not spoken to the media as well - it's like the management has its head in the sand like an ostrich," a senior pilot told HT.
While credit must be given to Mallya for creating a good product, the chairman needed to step aside and let professionals run the business, the pilot said. "His ego is ruining a fine product."
Most cabin crew, he said, were so disillusioned with the aviation sector that they are now seeking jobs outside the industry.
"There is anxiety amongst employees and many have even approached us to ask the truth, we did try to communicate with them regarding the facts and that no one would be sacked as of now," said a senior official with Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya's reassurance that no employee would be laid off, did seem to calm some frayed nerves.
"It was a great relief to hear that the company is not planning to sack employees, but still there is lot of pressure as there are talks inside the company that certain salary components may be slashed," said a Kingfisher employee working at the Mumbai airport.