Kingfisher extends lockout by another three days

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 04, 2012 15:48 hrs

Ailing Kingfisher Airlines on Thursday extended its partial lockout by another three days till Sunday as talks between its management and employees failed to end the deadlock over non-payment of salaries for last seven months.

The situation was further marred with the wife of one of its Delhi-based employees allegedly committing suicide, blaming financial stress due to non-payment of salary to her husband for five months.

The airline also announced in the National Stock Exchange that its Company Secretary, Bharath Raghavan, has quit the company.

In an internal note, the airline conveyed the management's decision to its staff of extending the lockout till October 7.

The striking pilots are now planning to move the labour court against the airline for failing to pay their backlog.

Kingfisher Airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal and Executive Vice President Hitesh Patel met Delhi-based staff, including engineers and pilots, to convince them to rejoin duty.

Sources said the management offered the March salary to the employees and promised to pay the remaining six months salary once the airline is recapitalised. This offer was rejected by the employees for the second time in two days.

Kingfisher stocks tumbled by about five per cent, failling for the fourth straight day. The script tanked 4.79 percent to hit the lower circuit limit of Rs. 13.90 on the BSE.

The airline notified the National Stock Exchange saying Bharath Raghavan "has resigned as the Company Secretary of the Company with effect from the close of business on September 30, 2012. Consequently, he has ceased to be the designated Compliance Officer of the Company with effect from that date."

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh also expressed doubts whether the carrier, facing a partial lockout, will resume its operations soon.

He further maintained that the airline should be in a position to get its planes certified and satisfy the DGCA that the schedule which they have given is maintained.

Concerned over the worsening crisis, Kingfisher's lenders held an emergency meeting in Mumbai to discuss the evolving situation.

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