Kingfisher extends lockout till October 23, stares at suspension
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Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines extended its partial lockout till October 23 on Friday even as it faces a possible suspension of its flying licence. While the airline anticipates resumption of operations on November 6, more than a month after its last flight took off, sources in the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that suspension of the flying licence remains a possibility.
On October 5, the DGCA sent a showcause notice to Kingfisher Airlines asking it why its licence should not be cancelled. The airline had 15 days to reply and submitted its reply on the deadline day.
However, the DGCA said that the reply was just a letter detailing the labour unrest and it does not consider it as an official reply. This leaves the option open for a suspension of the licence.
Meanwhile, Kingfisher Airlines said in a statement saying that the meeting with the employees earlier this week was positive.
"We had a positive meeting with employee representatives on October 17 and are hopeful of reaching a common ground when we meet again next week," the airline said in a statement. "Currently, we anticipate resuming operations on November 6, subject to our resumption plan being reviewed and approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation or DGCA."
The liquor-baron Vijay Mallya owned airline has been grounded since October 1, after its engineers and pilots went on a strike for non-payment of salaries for the last six to seven months. "Also the employee's need to return to work before we make any decision on Kingfisher Airlines," the official added.
Meanwhile, a Kingfisher employees' representative spoke to FE and said that the demand for full payment of salary dues remains. "We will not accept any partial payment or one month's salary payment or any commitment regarding payment of future salaries," the representative said. "We stick to no pay no work."
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