A section of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) pilots could stop flying from April 1 to protest against non-payment of salaries.
KFA employees have not been paid salaries since December. Sources said a section of pilots was planning to report sick from April 1. “The airline management has not lived up to the assurances they have given to us in the past,” a KFA pilot told HT. “A number of pilots might start reporting sick from next month,” said another pilot.
When asked about the possibility of a section of pilots refusing to fly from April 1, a KFA spokesperson referred to the statement the airline had issued on Tuesday.
The statement had spoken about a “holding plan”, in which operations to several stations were being suspended and most staff posted at these places were asked to stay at home while remaining on the company's rolls.
“The airline’s statement has made us very worried.” said one pilot. “Employees, who haven’t been paid for months, have been asked to stay at home. No one knows what will happen next.”
KFA had said its immediate priority was to access its “funds to pay outstanding staff salaries”.
Meanwhile, KFA informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that Manmohan Singh Kapur, Lalit Bhasin and Shrikant Ruparel have joined its Board as independent directors. While Kapur retired as CMD, Vijaya Bank, Bhasin is the head of law firm Bhasin and Co.
Ruparel is former managing director of Kolhapur Sugar Mills.
In its statement issued on Tuesday, KFA said it would operate 120 daily flights with 20 aircraft. “We are in a ‘holding’ pattern right now and are waiting for various decisions from the government and our consortium of bankers on FDI policy, working capital funding, etc. All of these will have a major impact on the staffing decisions we will have to make,” the airline had stated.