The meetings between Kingfisher Airlines’s CEO Sanjay Agarwal and the airline’s employees in Bangalore and Chennai scheduled for Friday was cancelled a day after banks finally agreed to release Rs 60 crores to the cash-trapped airline. Kingfisher Airlines will be now able to pay its employees salaries with half that amount. The airline employees have planned to hold a candlelight vigil on Friday at 2 pm in Delhi.
But the lockout has been extended till October 12 and the airline fleet will remain grounded till then. The move to release the money came after the Income Tax department lifted the freeze on Kingfisher’s accounts on Thursday.
The airlines issued a statement saying, “We regret that the illegal strike has still not been withdrawn and normalcy has not been restored in the company, thereby continuing to cripple and paralyse the working of the entire airline. In light of this, Kingfisher Airlines Ltd has been constrained to extend the partial lock-out which commenced from 1st of October up to Friday the 12th of October, 2012.”
Another fallout of the airline crisis, Kingfisher company secretary Bharath Raghavan resigned on Thursday. There was more confusion after the meeting as a Kingfisher Airlines official claimed that 100 employees were ready to resume work, but the airlines denied any such development. Kingfisher lenders will be holding an emergency meeting later on Thursday in Mumbai at the SBI Bhawan.
Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson denied the statement given by VP, Corporate Affairs, Sanjay Bahadur after the meeting. He said that Bahadur is not official spokesperson and that no such assurance has been given as yet. Later, the official also said that Sanjay is not a spokesperson for the company, which clearly indicates the confusion within the ranks of Kingfisher Airlines and its desperate attempts in trying to seek employee confidence.
Meanwhile, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has said that Kingfisher Airlines will have to take permission from the DGCA to fly. “We have made it clear that Kingfisher has to get DGCA’s permission if it wants to fly. Certified engineers have to approve it and the employees issue has to be sorted out,” Ajit Singh said.