Mallya promises to pay employees

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: In a bid to avert unrest over delayed salaries, Kingfisher Airlines chairman Mr Vijay Mallya has told his staff that their dues will be paid in a phased manner from Wednesday.

“All junior staff will be paid before Easter, April 4. All pilots and engineers will be paid April 9 and 10,” he wrote. “My focus now is to start paying your seriously overdue salaries.”
Mr Mallya assured his employees that he would be available at all major stations from this week to address the staff’s concerns.
“Despite all my other commitments to UB (United Breweries) companies, I am personally passionate about and committed to your airline.”
The letter stated that the company can now pay the overdue salaries as its bank accounts have been un-frozen following payments worth Rs 44 crore to the income tax department and Rs 20 crore as service tax.
On March 27, the airline suspended operations to several cities and asked its staff to stay home till it managed fresh funding.
The airline claimed that it had started the summer schedule with about 120 daily flights and 20 dedicated aircraft.
The airline’s international operations have been suspended after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) barred the carrier from its inter-airline clearing house and billing and settlement plan accounts due to non-payment of dues.
The move is akin to the Reserve Bank of India removing a commercial bank from its currency clearing system.
Currently, Kingfisher has a debt of Rs 7,057.08 crore. Its net loss widened to Rs 444.27 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 from Rs 253.69 crore in the October-December quarter in the last fiscal.
The company’s scrip at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) touched a new low in the intra-day trade at Rs 15 and was trading at Rs 15.50, down 6.34 per cent around 1:15 p.m.