Kingfisher cancels flights across India, DGCA to examine situation

The airline said it had proactively cancelled flights across the country after employees who were on strike had assaulted those who were working.

FP Staff October 01, 2012 09:48:16 IST

After reports emerged of engineers refusing to allow passengers to disembark from Kingfisher flights over the week, the Vijay-Mallya owned airline today issued a statement saying that they are cancelling flights across the country while the country's aviation regulator said it would review the airline's operations.

In a brief statement issued today, the airline said that a section of the airline's employees had not been reporting to work over the last fortnight and had also been manhandling others who had been reporting to work.

Kingfisher cancels flights across India DGCA to examine situation

No flights today? PTI

"We are anticipating disruptions and/or delays of flights across our network on October 1, 2012 as it is likely that a section of employees of Kingfisher Airlines may not report to work due to such threats. With a view to mitigating the impact of these anticipated disruptions, we are proactively cancelling several flights across our network for October 1, 2012," the airline said.

The airline management said it was monitoring the situation and was talking to the employees and would be attempting to resolve the situation and "restore normal operations at the earliest".

"We deeply regret any inconvenience that may be caused to our valued guests on account of this unprecedented action by a small section of employees and we are doing our best to minimise the impact of these anticipated disruptions," the statement said.

Aviation regulator DGCA said it would review the airline's operations in the wake of mass

cancellation of flights, even as a section of the airlines Mumbai-based pilots joined in the strike by its engineers.

"We will review the situation of Kingfisher Airline," Director General of Civil Aviation Arun Mishra told PTI.

Mishra also said that airline's situation will also be discussed with the Civil Aviation Ministry.

"Almost all Kingfisher aircraft are grounded due to the engineer's strike....some Mumbai-based pilots have also joined in the strike today," sources told PTI.

The development comes after reports that Kingfisher Airlines passengers in Mumbai were not allowed to disembark after the engineers, who say that they have not been paid for the last seven months, did not allow doors of an Airbus 320 aircraft to be opened and refused to fix aero-bridges.

A senior erstwhile commander of Kingfisher also told Firstpost 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".

The cash-strapped Kingfisher airline, which owes over Rs 7,000 crore to various banks, has seen a huge reduction in the number of daily flights. The airline currently claims to operate a fleet of less than 20 aircraft, down from over 64 in January this year.

with inputs from PTI

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