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May 11, 2012 at 11:25am IST

Salary payments of pilots have begun: Vijay Mallya

New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines, that is dealing with a strike by over 70 pilots presently, had some positive news on Friday. Chairman Vijay Mallya wrote to his employees assuring them that their long-overdue salaries would be disbursed starting Friday.

Nearly 72 pilots based in north India went on a mass sick leave on Thursday protesting non-payment of salaries since December, and were even trying to convince their counterparts in Mumbai to follow suit. Twenty four KFA flights have been cancelled sinced Thursday.

However, with the latest move by Mallya, there's some hope that the crisis will be solved soon. Kingfisher stocks went up by 3 per cent after the news.

Salary payments of pilots have begun: Vijay Mallya

Nearly 72 pilots based in north India went on a mass sick leave on Thursday protesting non-payment of salaries since December.

In his letter, Mallya wrote, "I am very encouraged with recent meetings... I am confident we will bounce back. The UB Group infused cash of Rs 500 crores into KFA over the past 15 months. Long overdue salary payments have commenced from today."

"I received confirmation that several staff accounts were credited today," Mallya added.

"I was hurt, disappointed as few employees chose the path of threat, confrontation... Actions by a few put the company at risk. I will not allow a small group of misguided employees to derail and jeopardise efforts. I will act firmly, decisively to protect KFA," Mallya wrote.

Meanwhile, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said, "Kingfisher has been having financial trouble for quite some time. They are a private airline and have to help themselves. The whole aviation industry is in trouble. For that, I will speak to the PM also."

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