This Diwali, Kingfisher staff go without pay

Kingfisher Airlines has reneged on its word by not clearing employees' pending salaries for the month of May before Diwali, as it had promised them in a deal struck last month.

"We had decided not to join back work till they clear all our seven months' salary was because the airline cannot be trusted and they proved us right. We did not get our May salaries before Diwali. Now, we do not know whom to believe in the airline when the assurances given by our CEO does not hold any sanctity," said an airline employee.

He, however, added that there are internal rumours that the salaries will be paid by Friday. "But that again remains to be seen, as all of you know the number of times the airline has turned back on its assurances," the official added.

Kingfisher Airlines is not operating since September 30 after its engineers and pilots went on strike demanding payment of their salary dues.

The employees later called off their strike late last month after the airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal pleaded with them to return to work and assured that they will receive their three-month salaries in two tranches — the May salary to be paid by Diwali and June salaries by December-end.

The spokesperson of Kingfisher Airlines was unavailable for a comment and did not respond to text messages.

Kingfisher flights have remained suspended since September-end due to the strike, followed by a lockout from October 1. The aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) then suspended the airline's Scheduled Operator's Permit or in common parlance, the flying licence.

Kingfisher Airlines, to get its suspension revoked, will have to get all necessary clearances from the DGCA by submitting the airline's financial and operational plans to the satisfaction of the regulator.

A final decision on revoking the suspension will only be taken after the aviation regulator gets a go ahead from the stake holders that include airport operators, oil companies, banks and other vendors, who have been left unpaid for services rendered over several months.

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