Kingfisher Airlines’ pilots have agreed to withdraw an 8 p.m. Tuesday deadline for a strike they had announced on Monday.
The pilots called off the strike subject to Kingfisher chairman and key promoter Vijay Mallya honouring his commitments in a letter he had written to employees on Monday.
In the letter, Mallya had said junior staff would be paid salaries by April 4 and pilots and engineers by April 10.
In a response to the airline’s chairman Vijay Mallya’s letter, employees have said that they want the company to pay March 2012 salaries by 20 April 2012. “KFA employees have come to a point where operations have become unsafe due to stress caused by our financial constraints,” employees said in the response.
Kingfisher shares were trading at Rs 16.60, about 9.93 per cent higher, on Tuesday at 12:35 p.m. after hitting an all-time low of Rs15 on Monday.
The pilots met with Mallya on Monday and said they would go on strike if they weren’t paid at least two months’ wages.
There was more relief for the embattled airline earlier today after sources in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said there would be no consolidated report on Kingfisher to the Aviation Ministry for now. The idea of the report has been shelved. But a surveillance team will continue to inspect every flight to ensure safety is not compromised. Also, a close eye would be kept on financial developments and payments of salaries to KFA employees..
Kingfisher owes about $1.3 billion to various lenders and has been struggling to fund daily operations on a full scale after tax authorities attached its bank accounts over non-payment of tax dues. Last week, it cancelled flights to a number of cities and asked employees there to “stay at home”.
On Monday, Mallya said that the airline would resume payment of staff salaries starting this week after tax authorities unfroze its bank accounts, the airline's chairman and managing director, Vijay Mallya, said in a letter to employees. The carrier's junior staff will be paid on Wednesday, while all pilots and engineers will be paid on April 9 and April 10, Mallya told employees. "My only focus now is to start paying your seriously overdue salaries," said Mallya. (Read Vijay Mallya's interview here)