Employees of debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines (KfA) may have agreed to resume work, but hard times for the airline are far from over.
The airline has been grounded by the aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on October 20 2012 as its staff failed to report to work protesting against non payment of salaries.
Employees told Express: “We had no other choice but to accept the offer. This was the only option for us to get back our salaries and have a job. The only way is for the airline to go airborne is by us getting back to work.”
Expressing concern over the future of the airline, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said that KfA has to submit its financial and operational plans to DGCA, after which the latter would take a decision on the revoking of the suspension of their flying license.
He had also said that KfA had other outstandings to Airports Authority of India (AAI), oil companies and also its lessors.
Pointing out that KfA had not yet submitted a revival plan, he is reported to have said, “It is not a question of me being hopeful or not. In my view, it’s a very difficult proposition but not impossible.”
Furthermore, pilots point out that they are yet to submit a winter schedule to DGCA as well. “If we are not airborne in November then no customer will book with us for the upcoming holiday season.” Also, they added that this was the last time they would trust the management as they had been ‘duped’ in the past as well.
“The management is well aware that if they go back on their word, then the agitation will resume and things could go worse from then on,” a pilot said. But employees said that there still would be arrears as KfA would pay October salary in December, leaving nearly 6 months of arrears intact.