Kingfisher cancels six flights as pilots strike

At least six flights of the crippled Kingfisher Airlines in and out of Mumbai had to be cancelled today as some pilots did not report on duty at Mumbai airport.
The Mumbai-based pilots of the near-bankrupt airline, owned by Vijay Mallya, had on Tuesday decided to strike work indefinitely over prolonged non-payment of their salaries. Salaries of pilots, engineers and other staff have not been paid since at least February.

The departure of four Kingfisher flights - two to Delhi and one each to Bangalore and Chennai - got cancelled, while two other flights did not arrive. Reports said at least six pilots had not reported to work on Wednesday.

This is the second time in the last 10 days that the pilots have decided to stay away from work over non-payment of salaries.

The airline has seen repeated strikes because of the airline management's failure to keep its commitment on the payment of the employees' dues.

The airline is currently operating around 100 flights per day. It has most of its operations from Mumbai and Delhi after the airline reduced the number of flights to almost one fourth in the wake of financial troubles.

Kingfisher, promoted by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, has never shown a profit since its inception. It reported a loss of Rs1,151.50 crore in the March quarter.

It carries a debt of over Rs7,500 crore and accumulated losses to almost the same amount. Apart from employees, it owes dues to oil companies as well as airports for fuel and service charges.