Mumbai: Pilots of Kingfisher Airlines Ltd said on Thursday that they would approach the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to intervene if management doesn’t pay them their pending salary for May by the end of this month. The grounded airline hasn’t paid the May salary to half its employees.
In a letter to chief executive officer Sanjay Aggarwal, pilots recalled that they had been promised that they would be paid their May salary before Diwali, which fell on 13 November.
“However, most of us are still waiting for the same in-spite of two weeks having past beyond the promised deadline,” said the letter, a copy of which was seen by Mint.
“It may be appreciated that it is becoming extremely difficult to survive in this environment of uncertainty, which may further erode the confidence/trust in the management. This can be avoided by immediately crediting the May salary by 30th November 2012 failing which we will be left with no choice but to approach regulatory authority, media or take any other necessary required action,” the letter said.
According to a settlement reached earlier, employees were to be paid their April salaries by 31 October and May salary by 12 November. Salaries for the months of June-September were to be paid once the company is recapitalized. From October on, the company will pay salaries a month late, which means the October salary will be paid by the last week of December.
The engineers and pilots of Vijay Mallya-controlled Kingfisher Airlines, who had resorted to indefinite strike starting 1 October, resumed work on 25 October after reaching a settlement on salaries.
DGCA asked the airline on 5 October to demonstrate why its permit to fly should not be suspended or cancelled for failing to establish a “safe, efficient and reliable service” and gave it 15 days to submit a reply.
On 26 October, Mint had reported citing Kapil Kaul, chief executive officer (South Asia) at consulting firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, that Kingfisher Airlines needs more than $1 billion to fully fund a turnaround business plan.
The airline is looking at resuming operations by the third or fourth week of November, if the regulator revokes the suspension of its licence and allows it to fly.