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Oct 23, 2012 at 05:50pm IST

KFA extends lockout till October 25, gives employees time to consider offer

New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines CEO Sanjay Agarwal on Monday said that the partial lockout of the crisis-hit airlines had been extended till October 25 from the earlier date of October 23. The airline company on Monday held a closed-door meet with its employees' union in Mumbai and offered to pay three months' salary before Diwali.

The employees, however, have rejected the offer, saying they wanted four months' salary in a day or two or else they wouldn't join work. Subash Chandra Mishra, a Kingfisher employee, questioned Chairman Vijay Mallya's silence over the matter, saying the staff wanted to meet him directly, instead of holding meetings with the management.

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"We don't trust the management. We want to talk to Dr Mallya. Where is he? We want to hear from him directly. The management has been fooling us till now. They are playing with our emotions and sentiments. I want Dr Mallya to meet us face to face, not through representatives or Internet or any other indirect means," he said.

Agarwal, however, insisted its offer of three months salary was fair. "Our offer of three months salary is fair. Our intent is to get the employees back to their work. We will give them a day or two to think over and consider our offer," he said. Mishra, however, rejected the proposal, insisting that their four months' salary be accredited to their account right away. "Why should we wait till Diwali? No promise made by them has been fulfilled. Why should we trust them?" he asked.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, meanwhile, said it could be difficult for Kingfisher to fly again. "It will be very difficult," he told a TV channel when asked whether realistically he expected the private carrier to resume operations.

But Agarwal said the airline would "very shortly" submit a comprehensive and detailed revival plan to aviation regulator DGCA for its approval. The operations of Kingfisher remained disrupted since September 30, first due to a strike by its engineers and pilots, then by the lockout declared by the management which was followed by suspension of its flying permit by DGCA.

(With additional information from PTI)