Trouble for cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines erupted again today as nearly 34 flights of the carrier were disrupted when a section of its staff failed to report for duty protesting delay in salary payments.
Kingfisher also clubbed some of its flights as it experienced poor load factors due to its suspension from the global ticketing and sales office of International Air Transport Association (IATA) on account of non-payment of dues.
The flight loads have reduced because of our limited distribution ability caused by IATA suspension. We are therefore combining some of our flights, the airline said. We will operate approximately 80 per cent of our planned schedule. We expect to return to our full schedule shortly, it said. The carrier had been operating a truncated schedule of 170 flights since February.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation,said it will be closely monitoring the situation.
The airline is sending daily reports to us and the ministry. This is an evolving situation,we are keeping a close watch. In this case,the airline said its staff has gone on strike, Director-General of Civil Aviation EK Bharat Bhushan told The Indian Express. Responding to whether any action is contemplated against the airline,he said: We do not want to take any action in a hurry as we do not want to constrict capacity.
The company,meanwhile,blamed the freezing of its accounts by the tax authorities for its inability to clear dues to its staff and other vendors. Nearly 60 accounts of the airline were frozen by the tax department after it failed to clear dues worth Rs 70 crore.
Meanwhile,according to a PTI report,the UK High Court has ruled that the Vijay Mallya-owned airlines owes Bank of Scotland $21.6 million in overdue lease payments for 10 ATR 72-500 aircraft,paving the way for potential action by the bank to recover the outstanding sum.
According to flightglobal.com,Bank of Scotland had brought the action on behalf of a consortium of lenders against Kingfishers parent company,United Breweries Holdings,which had guaranteed the airlines obligations.
IT dept attaches Jet Airways accounts
The Service Tax Department on Monday claimed to have attached Jet Airways accounts for non-payment of around Rs 70 crore service tax dues. Jet Airways,however,refuted the claim and said the dues will be cleared by March 15.