Kingfisher looks set for a long shut-down: DGCA

Kingfisher Airlines seems set for a long shut-down after talks with its pilots and engineers in Delhi ended in failure over the management's inability to assure payment of overdue salaries, according to a status report filed by the Directorate General of Civil aviation (DGCA).

Kingfisher Airlines, which has been almost grounded since 1 October, hoped to be back in operation in the next four to five days once the striking staff accepted the management's promise to pay the March salary.

Chairman Vijay Mallya also appealed to the staff members to resume work, but said he could clear salary dues for only one month.

The proposal was to pay the March salary immediately and to pay the remaining six months' salary once the airline was recapitalised. This offer, however, was not agreeable to the striking engineers and pilots.

Chief executive Sanjay Agarwal is travelling to all stations to meet the staff following the airline declaring a 'partial lockout' on 1 October. He is expected to meet the airline's staff at Chennai tomorrow.

Several rounds of meetings and persuasions by the management over the past few months have failed to persuade the employees who remain unpaid for the past seven months.