Ex-KFA pilots seek compensation for mental harassment, unpaid dues

Former Kingfisher Airlines pilots have sent a legal notice to the airlines's management seeking compensation for mental harassment and salary dues, and have asked the management to comply within 21 days,according to a CNBC-TV18 report.

The Mumbai-based pilots also served the airline an ultimatum to clear their dues by January 31 or face another winding-up petition even as the beleagured management appealed to its Delhi-based engineers not to resort to any legal action.

The Kingfisher management received the legal notice on 18 January in which it has been charged with cheating for non-payment of salaries.

AFP

The legal notice essentially asks Kingfisher to comply with the pilots demand to pay salaries and compensation for mental harassment and agony that they have gone through with the management of Kingfisher.

In a bid to pre-empt legal action by the engineers, the management of Vijay Mallya-owned carrier appealed to them not to take such a step but did not make any commitment about the payments.

"The management has appealed to the engineers to not file a winding-up petition as it will have an adverse impact on the revival plan, which is awaiting regulatory approval," airline sources told PTI.

The appeal was made at a two-hour meeting between the management and pilots at the Kingfisher House on Sunday.

In New Delhi, the engineers had decided to move a winding-up petition in the Delhi High Court by the end of the week.

"Pilots categorically told the management that it must clear their salary dues by the month-end failing which they will take a legal recourse in the form of a similar action that is decided by the engineers," sources said.

The management, however, told them that it expects to have "some funds in the account" by the week end, the sources said.

"Chief Executive Sanjay Aggarwal, along with Executive Vice President Hitesh Patel, attended the meeting, but did not make any commitment to make the payments," they said.

According to sources, pilots also demanded a "written assurance" from Mallya through an e-mail about clearing their dues by January 31.

"However, Agarwal did not make any assurance," they said. A section of airline's former pilots have already sent a legal notice to the company seeking salaries within three weeks, failing which they have threatened to move ahead with a winding-up petition.

The ex-pilots have also threatened to file criminal proceedings against the management for not paying the income deducted from their salaries to the government.

Even lenders to the airline on Saturday stepped up pressure on beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines stating it needed to have a capital of at least Rs 2,000 crore if it wanted to revive itself.

Earlier, Kingfisher had given a revival plan to the the Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA), which included a limited restart of operations with Rs 650 crore of capital which promoter Vijay Mallya had promised to bring from his own sources.

Kingfisher has been grounded since October 1, following a strike by its employees seeking clearing of salary dues, which have not been paid for the past eight months.

Following this aviation regulator DGCA suspended the flying licence of the carrier on October 20 and on December 31 cancelled it.

However, under the civil aviation rules, the airline can get back the licence within two years.

Mallya had last week written to the employees that he would restart operations by the end of February with seven planes, even as he is looking for a foreign investor.

With inputs from PTI