The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is seeking the legal opinion on cancelling the license of the crisis-laden private Indian air carrier, Kingfisher Airlines.
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya-controlled Kingfisher Airlines announced a partial lockout Monday as it failed to break the deadlock over the non-payment of salaries to the employees since March.
The employees of the beleaguered airlines have refused to resume work till their salary dues are paid. The employees union Thursday rejected an offer from the management to pay a month’s salary in 10 days.
Kingfisher, which was once the country’s second largest airline, extended the partial lockout till Oct.12 as the talks held between the management and employees in Delhi Thursday failed and similar talks scheduled to be held in Bangalore Friday got cancelled.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Friday reiterated his stand that Kingfisher would have to adhere to the safety norms of the DGCA before it resumes operations. He said that the DGCA was in the process of seeking the legal opinion on cancelling the airline’s license.
"Whether [the aviation regulator] can suspend the license or not, we will not allow Kingfisher to fly unless they meet the concerns that the DGCA has on safety and on the ability to maintain their operations," the minister told ET Now TV channel.
“The rest is if the law allows or...if we want to suspend their license or revoke it, we have to see if the law permits," Singh said.
The Kingfisher employees held a candlelight vigil in Bangalore and Mumbai Friday, paying homage to a Kingfisher engineer’s wife who committed suicide allegedly due to financial stress.
"The husband not getting salary for months is definitely a major reason, as per the suicide note," said A.K. Ojha, additional commissioner of Delhi's south-west police district.
The employees believe that the airline management is acting unrealistically by asking them to work without salaries or any assurance in this regard for half a year.
"How can the management realistically expect us to work?" said Krishna Kumar, a 35-year-old engineer in Mumbai, ET reported.
Mallya has so far been unsuccessful in getting a foreign partner to invest in his cash-strapped airlines, which has never recorded a profit since its inception in 2005.