Kingfisher extends lockout till October 12, faces license cancellation

Friday, October 05, 2012

Mumbai: The Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) has grounded its fleet for another week and the aviation regulator sought legal opinion on cancelling its flying licence. 

“The aviation regulator is seeking legal opinion on cancelling the licence of beleaguered carrier Kingfisher Airlines,” said civil aviation minister Ajit Singh on Friday.

 Earlier on Thursday night the KFA has decided to extend its partial lock-out period till Oct 12.

This means the airline, which was once the second-largest in the country, will see a long closure.

The lockout was declared after negotiations with the striking employees failed amid reports that airline is not in a position to pay the full salaries to its employees since the lenders have refused fresh funding.

Spelling more trouble for the beleaguered airline, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said the carrier will not be allowed to fly if it fails to satisfy mandatory safety norms.

The Civil Aviation Minister has said the ministry would consider both the finances as well as the employees' views before allowing the airline to function. “There are a lot of factors involved... the salaries of the employees and other issues. If the employees are disgruntled, there is an issue of safety.”

In Mumbai, the agitated employees, including pilots, engineers and technicians took out a procession Friday morning to the airline's office, insisting that their pending salaries and other dues be immediately paid.

The airline controlled by liquor baron Vijay Mallya is seven months behind on salary payments to employees and has never turned a profit since its launch in 2005.

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