Gurgaon: The Kingfisher Airlines management met with striking employees on Thursday in Gurgaon but failed to end the empasse. There was more confusion after the meeting as a Kingfisher Airlines official claimed that 100 employees were ready to resume work, but the airlines denied any such development. Kingfisher lenders will be holding an emergency meeting later on Thursday in Mumbai at the SBI Bhawan.
Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson denied the statement given by VP, Corporate Affairs, Sanjay Bahadur after the meeting. He said that Bahadur is not official spokesperson and that no such assurance has been given as yet. Later, the official also said that Sanjay is not a spokesperson for the company, which clearly indicates the confusion within the ranks of Kingfisher Airlines and its desperate attempts in trying to seek employee confidence.
Meanwhile, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has said that Kingfisher Airlines will have to take permission from the DGCA to fly. "We have made it clear that Kingfisher has to get DGCA's permission if it wants to fly. Certified engineers have to approve it and the employees issue has to be sorted out," Ajit Singh said.
Earlier, Sanjay Bahadur had said that 100 employees had agreed to return to work and the company would pay March salaries within a week. Bahadur also said that Kingfisher is expected to fly again within a week and the officials will be meeting DGCA when the company is ready to restart operations. Meanwhile CEO Sanjay Aggarwal promised to disburse salaries to his staff at a meeting in Gurgaon without identifying the timeline.
Sources said that the Kingfisher Airlines employees remained unhappy with the reassurances given and felt that they were beign unnecessarily blamed for the crisis. Employees who have not been paid their salaries since March demanded that they be paid in full.
Only 10 to 15 employees were present for the meeting as most boycotted the meeting. Talks in Mumbai, too, had failed on Wednesday after the management failed to give concrete plans of paying the employees salaries. The lockout was supposed to end on Thursday.
The management did plan to meet employees in Bangalore on Thursday evening and Chennai on Friday but with the response on Thursday, these plans might change.
On Wednesday, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has said there's no question of allowing Kingfisher Airlines to resume operations till it meets safety standards. "Till the time all safety standards met and employees unrest resolved, the status of Kingfisher Airlines will remain the same. We will not allow them to fly till then. We have already conveyed to Kingfisher Airlines. Now Kingfisher Airlines has to come back to us with a concrete plan on how they are going to ensure safety of operations. There is no particular timeline given to Kingfisher Airlines but before the Winter Session begins we will have to reconsider the route."