The DGCA said Kingfisher Airlines is in talks with foreign airlines for investment, a CNBC-TV18 report said. It will be allowed to resume operations only if the regulator finds the company’s plan to repay wages satisfactory.
Kingfisher has told DGCA that it is hopeful of resuming operations on 5 October.
At present, the UB group is constantly pumping in money for daily operations of the company, which is flying 10 aircraft a day as of now, the DGCA said.
Meanwhile, the TV channel also reported that the airline’s bank accounts, which have Rs 60 crore, will be de-frozen immediately as directed by the Karnataka High Court on Monday.
12:16 pm The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), meeting with Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Agarwal for a status report on the crisis has ended.
The airline management has shared the revival plan with the aviation regulator.
Agarwal has also promised that the due March salaries will be cleared within the next few days but a decision on restarting operations will only be taken on 4 October. He also said that only a small portion of the staff is creating trouble by preventing others from reporting to work. “As much as 50 percent of the staff have got March salaries,” Agarwal added.
Agarwal also said the airline will take legal action against the employees who are obstructing others from working “with a view to getting flight operations back to normal at the earliest. All employees are hereby called upon to immediately and forthwith restore normalcy and resume normal duties.”
KFA decision after DGCA report, says Ajit Singh
12:02 PM Aviation Minister Ajit Singh reiterated that Kingfisher Airlines will not be allowed to operate flights until its engineers report back to work and they certify on the flights’ safety. “Passenger safety cannot be compromised. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is talking to them today. They will send a report and a decision will be taken after that,” he told CNN IBN.
Meanwhille, the Kingfisher staff at Chennai has written to Vijay Mallya, stating that no airline will fly from Chennai unless the staff and the management arrive at a consensus over salary payments.
Kingfisher CEO to meet DGCA today; Mallya still in France?
02/10/2012 Kingfisher CEO to meet DGCA today
09-59 am The CEO of cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines is expected to meet the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) today to take stock of the current crisis, resulting in cancellation of all flights after its pilots and engineers refused to report to work over non-payment of salaries since March this year.
Kingfisher Airlines was forced to declare a temporary lockout of its operations till October 4 on Monday evening. The decision of the airlines came few hours after the Civil Aviation Minister, Ajit Singh warned that the company will not be allowed to fly if safety norms were flouted. The Aviation Minister categorically clarified that no Kingfisher flights would take off till the engineers certified on the safety of aircraft.
In an email to employees, Kingfisher Airlines chief executive Sanjay Aggarwal said the company had entered into a “partial lockout” on account of the strike and “a series of protracted and unabated incidents of violence, criminal intimidation, assault, wrongful restraint and other illegal acts by a section of non-management engineering staff”.
Reiterating passenger safety was the foremost concern, Singh said that the Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher Airlines can be shut down if safety concerns arise. “We can’t allow them to fly until their aircraft is certified. Their engineers (who are on strike) are not certifying the aircraft. They can get the planes certified by other certified engineers also,” he said. “If they are not paying somebody, they (protesters) have the option to leave or take the necessary industrial action,” Singh added. He said the management will review the situation on Thursday or whenever the strike is called off.
Mallya tweets from France
Meanwhile, Mallya, who is in France, has tweeted “The media are having a great time slamming me. Let them continue their wild and inaccurate speculation. I will prove all of them wrong.”
1/10/2012Kingfisher won’t be allowed to fly if safety norms are violated
16:30 pm Taking stock of the Kingfisher crisis, Aviation minister Ajit Singh has said the airline will not be allowed to fly if safety norms are not followed. The minister added that if the DGCA report finds that the airline does not stick to the schedule or violates the safety norms, the ministry would take action against the Vijay Mallya-led airline.
Till engineers certify the airline to fly and till the DGCA certifies safety, there will be no Kingfisher flights, Singh explained. “We can shut down the airline if DGCA says it is not airworthy,” Ajit Singh said.
He added that the load increase on other airlines due to the Kingfisher crisis is also being looked into by the aviation ministry.
DGCA summons Kingfisher CEO on Tuesday to take stock of crisis
15:00 pm The aviation regulator DGCA has summoned Kingfisher Airlines’ CEO Sanjay Agarwal in the backdrop of its flight cancellation. Agarwal is expected to appear before the DGCA on Tuesday.
The meeting between Kingfisher pilots and engineers with the management has handed. Employees, say the meeting was inconclusive as no assurances were given on payment of salaries, which have been outstanding since March.
Meanwhile, a CNN IBN report has also said the airline is facing a shutdown threat. Sources in the aviation ministry told the TV channel that the ministry will take a call on the airline’s licence in a few days. According to a report in Mint, the airline is currently flying only seven planes. As per aviation norms, once the fleet size falls below five, the airline will face shutdown.
In August, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation had also warned that Kingfisher may have to shut down operations unless $600 million is not infused into the airline within two months, along with an additional $400 million over the next 12-18 months to fully fund its business plan.
No Kingfisher flights operating currently: DGCA
12:41 PM : While Kingfisher says it has cancelled several flights due to employee unrest, the aviation regulator DGCA that was reviewing the situation, has reportedly confirmed that currently no Kingfisher flights are operational.
“We are considering, examining the whole situation,” Arun Mishra, the Director General of Civil Aviation, said over the telephone. No Kingfisher flight is operating at the moment, Mishra added.
Meanwhile, sources have told Firstpost that Vijay Mallya is abroad and CEO Sanjay Agarwal is also on vacation. (Read more about what the two Mallya’s did the last week here)
All pilots join strike, no Kingfisher flights from metros
New Delhi: Not a single Kingfisher Airlines flight has taken off from either Mumbai or Delhi airports this morning and in all likelihood, no operations have happened till noon from Bangalore either. That is because all the pilots – 42 captains and at least an equal number of first officers – of Kingfisher have struck work.
A captain confirmed to Firstpost that all pilots stationed in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore are on strike, and will not be operating any flights.
Sources in Mumbai confirmed that presently, Kingfisher has indicated that a flight to Bhavnagar is scheduled for departure at about 1.45 pm and will be operating, while sources in Delhi said flights may be operational only after 3-4 pm today, if at all. However, pilots are sticking to their guns, so operations across the Kingfisher network are expected to remain suspended today.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the airline’s management has thrown the rule book at agitating pilots who moved the Labour Court in Mumbai late last week to get pending dues, saying their job contracts call for arbitration first. Put simply, this means the airline does not want pilots to get the Labour Commissioner involved in settling the wage dispute. The pilots are expected to file their reply to the airline’s plea early this week.
This attitude of the management coupled with non payment of salary arrears has miffed the pilots even more. No wonder then that agitation has reached a boiling point when pilots and engineers came to know that besides throwing the rule book at their “justified” demands, the company has also selectively made part-payment of salary to some pilots and engineers to continue skeletal operations in the last few days.
Most Kingfisher Airlines employees have not been paid for seven months now. The airline’s tough stand against pilots follows close on the heels of pilots alleging that aviation regulator DGCA has made sure that any licensed employee leaving the airline (pilots or engineers) serves a 6-month notice period.
This rule is now being enforced by airlines like IndiGo which have already taken a number of Kingfisher pilots – a 6-month wait on top of a seven month salary lag is getting difficult to sustain for pilots though.
Things took an ugly turn over the weekend for Kingfisher passengers when yesterday evening the airline’s engineers did not allow doors of an Airbus 320 aircraft to be opened and refused to fix aerobridges for passengers to disembark. They, like pilots, were protesting non-payment of salaries.
The captain Firstpost spoke with cautioned it would be near impossible and surely unwise to operate flights when engineers are not around to push back and certify a flight’s airworthiness. So even if some pilots are willing to work, non-cooperation by engineers would ensure Kingfisher’s operations remain crippled.
A senior erstwhile commander of Kingfisher had said yesterday that trouble began when it became clear that the airline management “stealthily paid some salary – not full – to a select few pilots and engineers in the last few days. This was done to ensure that at least this set of pilots and engineers continue to operate flights but obviously others who have not been paid for seven whole months could not stand this situation and rebelled”.
Earlier this week, there was yet another round of talks between the airline management and agitating employees but talks remained unsuccessful.
So will the Civil Aviation Minister and the DGCA now wake up and seek a report from the airline, which has been violating its schedule for weeks now?