Kingfisher strike ends, uncertainty continues
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The 26-day deadlock at Kingfisher Airlines ended on Thursday with the management agreeing to pay four months' salary dues to its employees by December and the workers on strike deciding to resume work with immediate effect.
The breakthrough, however, does not ensure that the carrier, which is deep in debt and losses, can start flying anytime soon as its licence remains suspended and its revival plan still appears uncertain, officials and analysts said.
"It's a welcome step that the employees have been paid. But the airline can restart only if they convince the DGCA that their plan is financially sustainable," said civil aviation minister Ajit Singh.
Earlier in the day, after separate meetings with the protesting pilots and engineers in Delhi, Kingfisher Airlines CEO Sanjay Aggarwal told reporters that all employees, including the pilots and engineers, will resume work today. Aggarwal is expected to meet the DGCA Friday to pursue the resumption of flights.
Representatives of the pilots and engineers said they had returned to work after being assured they will be paid three months' salary before Diwali and a fourth month's salary next month.
"The management has already released our March salaries and we have received it. Salary for April will come on October 31, 2012 and the third one will come by November 12, 2012. The management has also promised that our June salaries will be paid in December and we will be paid one salary every month from now on," said Subhash Chandra Mishra, the engineers' representative. The remaining salary dues are to be cleared by March after recapitalisation of the airline.
Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya thanked the employees for returning to work. "All Kingfisher Team members back at work and fully supportive. I sincerely thank all of them for their faith and continuing commitment," Mallya tweeted.
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