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Kingfisher Airlines pilots threaten to approach DGCA over salary issue

Kingfisher Airlines pilots have threatened to approach the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) if the management did not meet its commitment on paying salary dues by Friday.

BT Online Bureau   Mumbai     Last Updated: November 30, 2012  | 13:32 IST

Kingfisher Airlines pilots, having failed to receive their May salary as assured by the management, have now threatened to approach the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) if the management did not meet the commitment by Friday.

The airline has not paid salary to most of its 4,000 employees since May.

The pilots' threat comes after the management had assured the employees that their salaries for three of the total seven months will be paid in tranches by Diwali.

"We have written to the airline's chief executive that if our salaries are not paid by today we will approach the Director General Civil Aviation to intervene in the issue," airline sources said.

Kingfisher Airlines, which is grounded since October 1 after its pilots and engineers went on strike demanding payment of dues, has temporarily lost its flying license.

However, the airline managed to convince the employees to end their agitation on October 24, assuring them that their March to May dues will be remitted in three instalments by Diwali.

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Meanwhile, a highly-placed DGCA official told the Press Trust of India: "Payment of salary is an internal issue which the management and employees will have to sort out among themselves. Our concern is safety and we have already temporarily suspended the airline's flying license on this count."

The official, however, said these issues will definitely be taken into consideration when the airline submits its revival plan.

"The employees should approach the appropriate authorities such as labour court or any other such institution to get the issue resolved," he added.

Kingfisher Airlines has been told by the aviation regulator that its license will be revoked only when it submits a comprehensive revival plan and after taking views of all the stakeholders.

The airline has a bank credit of Rs 7,000 crore and the unpaid interest since January this year thereon, apart from over Rs 10,000 crore of accumulated losses since the launch in May 2005.

The 17 lenders, led by State Bank, had set a November 30 deadline to bring in additional capital infusion to the tune of at least Rs 5,000 crore as a precondition to consider the airline's request for more working capital loan.

However, as of now there is no word from the company about the bankers' demand.

With inputs from PTI

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