Unpaid for over a year now, pilots of grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines (KfA) are most likely to pay for their own licence renewals pushing them further into debt.
In a mail sent to the pilots by Vimal Roy, head of Flight Operations Training at KfA, the company states that they are looking at licence renewals.
However, pilots told Express that many of them had to foot their own bills the last time around as well. “There were a few pilots who had to pay close to `2-3 lakhs to get their licences renewed last year,” a pilot on the condition of anonymity told Express. The licence of pilots expired as most of them have been grounded due to the airline’s status. KfA did not respond to mails sent by Express.
Pilots have also missed their Instrument Rating (IR) certification (done every one year) and the Line Operating Sight Training (LR) (done every six months, extendable by two months). According to them, they would require at least 15 hours of flying on their type of aircraft to renew their licence.
Even company chairman Vijay Mallya had given grieving employees a snub when they approached him during KfA’s annual general meeting in September this year. Mallya and company top brass chose instead to blame unpaid employees for the plight of the airline.
KfA has accumulated debts and losses running to over $2 billion. The company is also fighting a spate of cases filed against them for non-payment of dues as well as ‘cheating and conspiracy’ among other charges in various courts.