Kingfisher crisis hits city travellers

Six flights either cancelled or delayed; conflicting versions from RGIA, Kingfisher add to the confusion.

Published: 13th March 2012 12:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:34 PM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: As quite a good number of pilots and staffers failed to report for work, the debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines was forced to cancel several flights, including some from the city, on Monday. In all, 11 Kingfisher flights were scheduled to touch down at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad and about 10 were to take off.

However, two flights scheduled to depart for Bangalore and Pune were cancelled much to the dismay of the passengers. Similarly, two flights from Pune to Hyderabad and Hyderabad to Pune were also cancelled.

IT 2438 and IT 4492 were the flights which were scheduled to depart from Hyderabad to Bangalore and Pune respectively and IT 2822 was scheduled to arrive from Pune but did not. As if this wasn’t enough, there was ample confusion too. A flight from Pune to Hyderabad, IT 2821, was “on time”, according to the RGIA’s website. However, the flight in question was not operated, says the Kingfisher website!

Similarly, the RGIA website says IT 2437 and IT 2458, which were supposed to arrive in Hyderabad from Bangalore by 12.55 pm and 13.45 pm, were simply “delayed”. But the Kingfisher website clearly states that the two were not “operational”. Another flight, IT 4491 from Vizag, was officially delayed by a few hours causing inconvenience to the passengers.

Prakash Mirpuri, Vice-President, Corporate Communications, Kingfisher Airlines, acknowledged that “some of the flights are being cancelled as a result of employee agitation on account of delayed salaries”. He said, “the flight loads have reduced because of our limited distribution ability caused by IATA suspension. We are therefore combining some of our flights”.  Terming the scenario a temporary one, he said all possible efforts were being made by the management to remedy the situation. He further added that, “those guests whose flights are affected are being notified. They are either being accommodated on other airlines or offered a full refund”.

Travel agents say that customers are preferring other airlines over Kingfisher. City-based travel agent, Vijay Mohan Raj of Sameera Travels & Tours Private Limited said, “we have not received any bookings for Kingfisher Airlines in the last four days. Customers are not even asking for Kingfisher now”.

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