With a strike by pilots disrupting Kingfisher Airlines’ flight schedules,its Chairman Vijay Mallya today termed the protest as “disruptive” and warned the agitators that they could quit if they felt their action was justified.
He also asserted that the airline would be “re- capitalised whether the government changes the current FDI policy or not”.
In an open letter to his staffers,the third in so many months,Mallya warned,”If some colleagues feel that I will be pressurised by flight cancellations,they are wrong. Instead,I will stop my own support as a few are effectively holding the entire Company to ransom…
“If a section of our colleagues feel their actions are justified and that they know best,they can elect to leave our company. But such threats and disruptive actions are not acceptable. The actions of a few can adversely affect all of us.”
The letter came on a day when at least 16 Kingfisher flights,10 from Mumbai and six from Delhi,were cancelled due to the strike. About 30 flights were cancelled yesterday. The airline is expected to announce its quarterly results shortly.
Appealing to the employees to “understand the extreme hardship that I am going through to keep our Airline flying to the highest safety standards”,Mallya said he was writing cheques to various vendors on a daily basis “irrespective of the revenue inflow”.
“We have continuing issues with the tax authorities with frozen bank accounts. As if that is not bad enough,some of our own colleagues are ensuring,by their actions,that our revenue prospects fall down further due to shaky guest confidence and poor load factors.”
Maintaining that he has expressed “anguish and sadness publicly about unpaid salaries”,Mallya said if he was not confident about the airline’s future,”I would not make public statements nor arrangements to raise funds.”
Appealing to the staff to work towards strengthening the company,he said,”I am making arrangements,once again,despite several handicaps to disburse salaries as quickly as possible.
“But let those misguided colleagues know that if flights are disrupted by them,this will become more challenging. Staying away from work will neither generate funds nor accelerate salary payments.”