Mumbai: The management of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), grounded since September 29, will be meeting striking pilots and engineers again on Monday in a bid to end the three-week imbroglio, senior pilots said on Wednesday, indicating the crippled airline will have to extend the lockout for a second time. Earlier in the day, the KFA management, led by Chief Executive Sanjay Aggarwal and HR head Hitesh Patel met the representatives of pilots and engineers for nearly three hours at the Shaw Wallace House in south Mumbai to iron out issues arising out of seven months of unpaid salaries.
According to some pilots, the management offered to pay one-month salary immediately to resume operations. But the employees have not accepted the proposal as of now. We have agreed to meet again on Monday next, two pilots
said late in the evening after the meeting, which was described by both Aggarwal and employees as "very good and moving in the right direction".
Earlier this month, banks released around Rs 60 crore to KFA from an escrow account of service tax department on "humanitarian grounds" to pay salaries to the employees. The private airline's monthly wage bills stand around Rs 20 crore. When contacted to confirm the Monday meeting and the extension of the lockout, UB Group President Ravi Nedugandi declined to do so, saying "only the airline spokesman can speak on such matters". The KFA spokesperson did not answer phone calls and text messages....