The Vijay Mallya-owned airline offered to pay one month's salary soon and promised to expedite payment of the remaining six months as soon as the company gets recapitalised. However, striking employees rejected this offer
Mumbai/New Delhi: The crisis in debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines worsened on Wednesday as reconciliatory talks between its management and striking engineers and pilots over payment of seven-month salary backlog failed with the protestors rejecting the offer of part payment and vowing to continue their agitation, reports PTI.
With no end to the deadlock, a question mark hung over the airline's plans to resume operations from Friday, after a four-day partial lockout and complete suspension of all operations since Monday night.
"Our strike will continue as management has failed to give any commitment on payment of salary," a representative of striking Kingfisher engineers and pilots, Capt Vikrant Patkar, told reporters after a brief meeting in Mumbai.
On its part, the management offered to pay one month's salary soon and "expedite the payment of the remaining six months as soon as the company gets recapitalised," an airline official said on condition of anonymity.
But this offer was rejected by the employees. "There is no money and they can't give any commitment also. The engineers and pilots will continue with their agitation," Patkar said.
He said the management "offered us one month salary and that too 10-15 days later. We are not going to work unless we are paid for seven months. So we have rejected their offer."
Top Kingfisher officials had promised aviation regulator DGCA that they would hold meetings with various sections of the staff in an attempt to end the strike and the process began today.
Airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal and UB Group's Chief Financial Officer Ravi Nedungadi attended the meetings with the commercial staff as well as engineers and pilots in Mumbai.
They are expected to meet the employees in Delhi tomorrow.
Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would submit an interim report on the situation facing Kingfisher, including the safety issue as aircraft engineers were on strike.
Kingfisher has been saddled with a huge loss of Rs8,000 crore and a debt burden of another over Rs7,000 crore, a large part of which has not serviced since January.
Several of its aircraft have been either taken away by its lessors or grounded by the Airports Authority of India for non-payment of dues during the past few months.
Maintaining that Vijay Mallya-owned carrier was facing serious financial crunch, Ajit Singh has said DGCA would have to be satisfied on all aspects of operational safety till it approved resumption of its flights
New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines, which has declared a partial lockout till Thursday, would have to seek aviation regulator nod from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) before resuming operations, reprots PTI quoting Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh.
DGCA has asked the crisis-ridden airline to submit a report on airworthiness of its aircraft before resuming operations, he told reporters.
The Minister's response came a day after the airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal and Executive Vice President Hitesh Patel met DGCA chief Arun Mishra, briefing him on the company's decision to suspend the entire operations till October four.
"We are hopeful that we will resolve the situation in the next few days. We will take a call on October four on resumption of our operations," Agarwal had told PTI on Tuesday.
The airline would be using its current fleet of ten aircraft -- seven Airbus A-320s and three turbo-prop ATRs, to resume flights. With these planes, Kingfisher has been operating about 70-80 flights each day till it declared a partial lockout late Monday night following a strike by engineers and pilots for non-payment of salary.
Maintaining that Vijay Mallya-owned carrier was facing serious financial crunch, the Minister said DGCA would have to be satisfied on all aspects of operational safety till it approved resumption of its flights.
Based on the inputs received from the airline and its own findings, the aviation regulator is likely to submit an interim report on the airline's safety parameters to the Ministry very soon and a final report would follow in the next few days.
"We will only then take a decision on the airline's operations," the Minister said, adding that he had "no idea" on the implications of the safety issues on Kingfisher's flying licence as of now.
The airline had declared a partial lockout after its engineers and pilots struck work on Friday to protest non- payment of salaries since March.
After the airline CEO told DGCA that the March salaries, which have already been paid to about half the employees, would be given to the remaining staff in the next few days, a representative of the protesters said, "The management has made such promises earlier too but not fulfilled them. So, we have to wait and watch."
Oil companies are earning a profit of Rs1.60 per litre on petrol since 1st October, but want this trend to continue for some more days before announcing a price cut
New Delhi: Petrol price may be cut by about Rs1.60 per litre later this month as appreciation of rupee against the US dollar has helped state firms make profit on the fuel, reports PTI.
Indian rupee appreciated to five-month high since the government announced allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailing. This has eased the cost of imports for oil firms, helping them make profit on sale of petrol.
"Yes, there is about Rs1.60 per litre profit on petrol since 1st October. But we want this trend to stabilise before we think of cutting retail prices," a senior executive at one of the three state-owned fuel retailers said.
Petrol price was last revised on 24th July when it was raised by 70 paise to Rs68.48 per litre in Delhi. It was last cut on 3rd June when rates were reduced by Rs2.02 per litre.
The current profit is mainly on account of strengthening of rupee -- from Rs55.58 to a US dollar averages in the second half of August to Rs54.12 last fortnight.
Also, the prices of international gasoline, against which the domestic retail prices are benchmarked, have eased from $126.11 per barrel to $122.31.
Together, these have helped oil firms, which lost about Rs6,000 crore in revenue on selling petrol below cost this fiscal, make profits.
Rupee has further appreciated to Rs52.28, which would further give then scope for a price cut.
"We are committed to passing on any gains that we make but all we want to ensure is that this is not a temporary trend which can reverse in near future," the executive said.