Agitating Kingfisher pilots unfazed by shutdown threat

Kingfisher Airlines on Sunday sought to damp down the talk that it may shut down if its long-unpaid pilots don't stop agitating, saying it is in talks with tax authorities to get its accounts unfrozen so that it can resume payments.

The airline said in a release today that at no time was shutting the airline suggested. ''Our CEO met with a group of pilots to appeal not to stay away from flying duties, which would potentially affect the operating schedule,'' it said.

At a meeting on Thursday, Kingfisher chief executive officer Sanjay Aggarwal had warned the pilots that the airline could shut down if they don't resume duties.

''Aggarwal met a group of pilots to appeal to them not to stay away from flying duties, which would potentially affect the operating schedule. At no time was there any suggestion that Kingfisher Airlines would shut down,'' a statement by Prakash Mirpuri, vice-president (corporate communications of the airlines), said on Sunday.

''We are trying our best to cooperate with the tax authorities and get our accounts unfrozen at the earliest so that normalcy could be restored, employees' salaries paid and aircraft recoveries started,'' the statement said.