In the backdrop of their threat to file a winding up petition in court, Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya saturday met a group of pilots and engineers and is understood to have told them he was trying to get bankers and aviation regulator DGCA on board to restart the carrier.
However, he is learnt to have evaded giving any commitment on the payment of salary dues to his employees for over ten months now and said he was trying hard to get the airline off the ground.
Mallya, whose carrier is grounded since October one last year on account of near-bankruptcy, met the group of staffers in the backdrop of their threat to file a winding up petition in the court if the dues were not paid soon.
This was Mallya's first meeting with his employees since the grounding of the carrier. So far, the employees' unrest and issues were being handled by Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwal.
According to sources, Mallya said he was making efforts to obtain no-objection certificates from the DGCA and the 17- banks' consortium to which he owes a whopping Rs 7,000 crore.
He is understood to have also expressed hope of a possible restart of the airline within this quarter, asserting that he was not giving up on the carrier
The meeting came ahead of the lenders' consortium meeting on February 12, which is expected to take a call on the recovery proceedings. The AAI has also said it would not go by the "empty promises" of the management and insists on dues being cleared before it is allowed to fly again by DGCA.
Though Kingfisher, whose licence expired last year, has submitted a revival plan to DGCA envisaging limited operations from summer, the plan has not yet been accepted by the regulator in the absence of a firm commitment by Mallya on the payment of dues to various stake holders including bank, oil firms, airport operators and the employees who have not been paid since March last.
Sources say that if the airline has to restart operations by the summer schedule that begins in March end, it should get its flying licence latest by this month and any delay in that would a direct bearing on the resumption timings.