Financially crippled private carrier Kingfisher Airlines owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s suffered setbacks as apex civil aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), did not approve the airline’s winter schedule (starting October) while the airlines was forced to extend it ongoing lockout as talks between the management and the employees failed.
“Keeping the safety of passengers and the financial state of the carrier in view the DGCA disapproved Kingfisher’s winter schedule,” an aviation ministry official familiar with the development said requesting anonymity.
The airline’s management held parleys with the disgruntled employees who have not been paid for past seven months, but the talks failed to yield any results, sources added.
However airline’s CEO, Sanjay Agarwal claimed that talks were positive but the lock out would be extended beyond October 20.
The airline had offered the disgruntled employees one month’s salary and requested them to resume duties but none of them agreed to join work.
The airline’s management will hold another round of talks with the employees once again on Monday.
The entire fleet of 14 aircraft has been grounded since October 1 and the all flights have been cancelled since then.
The DGCA had issued a show cause notice to the carrier October 5 asking it why its operating licence should not be cancelled as it had failed to provide reliable, safe and timely services to passengers. The regulator has given it 15 days to reply to the show cause notice for which the deadline comes to an end on October 20.
The Civil Aviation Ministry has also asked the airline to submit a concrete plan before it can resume operations.
Kingfisher Airline which has never made profits since it started operation in 2005 is saddled with losses to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore and has debts to the tune of Rs 7,000 crore.