Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher Airlines services were impacted today due to a strike by its employees over non-payment of March salaries. The airline operated only five out of 15 aircraft in its fleet and cancelled over 30 flights today.
A top Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official,on condition of anonymity,said,The airline informed us that they will not be able operate seven ATRs and three Airbus 320s due to the strike by its employees and the passengers have been informed about the cancellations.
The official categorically denied reports that the aviation regulator plans to issue showcause to the airline.
The minimum eligibility criteria to operate an airline in India is that it should have minimum five aircraft in its fleet and an equity base of Rs 100 crore. As long as an airline fulfils the said criteria,I do not see any reason why the regulator should issue showcause notices, he said.
Employees of the cash-strapped airline have not received March salaries but have been informed that the airline will pay their salaries by August 13 or Monday.
We along some engineers have not been paid salaries for the last five months. Over a fortnight ago when a large number of pilots went on strike in solidarity against this issue,within a day the management said our salaries would arrive in our bank accounts but I still have not received mine, said a pilot with the airline.
Last month alone,Kingfisher pilots struck work thrice in 12 days.
Unlike last time,this is not a unanimous strike. Those who had received their salary last month are not in support of this. The issue is never-ending, said another pilot with the airline who was not participating in the strike.