Mallya blames employees for grounding of Kingfisher

After blaming the media and their ‘negative reporting’ for the plight of Kingfisher Airlines (KfA) during the 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM), liquor baron and Chairman of the airline

Published: 25th September 2013 10:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2013 10:51 AM   |  A+A-

After blaming the media and their ‘negative reporting’ for the plight of Kingfisher Airlines (KfA) during the 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM), liquor baron and Chairman of the airline, Vijay Mallya chose to target his unpaid employees for the plight of the carrier in the current meeting.

Adding insult to injury, the company top brass blamed the employees for the grounding of the carrier in October 2012. Employees of the carrier who have not been paid for over one year now tried to meet with senior management to express their plight, only to be snubbed by the latter.

KfA employees who had not been paid nearly 7 months of wages in October 2012, resorted to a strike demanding their salaries. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended the licence of the carrier owing to mass cancellations.

Mallya snubbed the employees when they approached him asking only the shareholders among them to enter the venue of the AGM to ask any questions. But they were made to wait outside the hall as Mallya did not want them to disrupt proceedings inside.  Kingfisher has made no profit since their inception and is reeling under losses and debts of over $2.5 billion.

“If we had continued working, the licence of the airline would have been cancelled. We were in no mental state to fly an aircraft and this would have resulted in loss of life which is more important,” employees said while pointing out to the wife of a Delhi based KfA engineer who took her life due to stress as her husband was not getting paid for his work.

“The authorities grounded the carrier as there was no fuel, no spares and employees got frustrated. It got to a point that it was not bearable,” they said. Sanjay Agarwal, CEO of the airline met with employees and reiterated that they were responsible for the grounding of the airline. However, he said that the company will file an application with the High court of Karnataka seeking permission to release at least one month’s salary to their employees.

The staff strength of the airline has come down from close to 7000 employees to around 2000 since the grounding of the carrier. “Many employees have gone back to the home towns since they cannot afford to live here anymore,” they said.


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