'Sick' pilots ground 55 Kingfisher flights | india | Hindustan Times
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'Sick' pilots ground 55 Kingfisher flights

india Updated: Mar 13, 2012 02:33 IST
HT Correspondent

The crisis in the Indian aviation industry is deepening by the day. On Monday, the country's two top full-service carriers - Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) and Jet Airways - faced fresh problems, mainly on account of unpaid dues.

Kingfisher cancelled about 55 flights on Monday as pilots, who have not been paid salaries for three months, reported sick.

Air India (AI), another full-service carrier, is staring at the possibility of an agitation by pilots who haven't been paid salaries and allowances for months.

Debt-laden KFA which has been running a truncated schedule of about 200 flights a day, could operate about 145.

In what could spell trouble for India's largest domestic carrier, Jet Airways, the central board of excise and customs (CBEC) informed the International Air Transport Association (IATA) about the airline's unpaid dues.

The airline, a CBEC official said, owed Rs 69 crore to it. "The Indian tax authority has served IATA with a garnishment for the amounts owed to the tax authorities by Jet Airways," an IATA spokesperson said.

Garnishment is a legal procedure by which a creditor can collect what a debtor owes by reaching the debtor's property when it is in the hands of someone other than the debtor.

"The service tax department has been in touch with IATA with regard to having their proceeds remitted when the collections are remitted to Jet Airways," a Jet spokesperson said.

IATA had last week suspended KFA, controlled by liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, from three settlement systems, hurting the airline's ability to deal with global airlines and travel agents.

KFA had informed the aviation regulator last week that there could be flight cancellations. "Some of the flights are being cancelled as a result of employee agitation on account of delayed salaries," a KFA spokesperson said.