Sheikh Imran Bashir
Agence India Press
New Delhi: Over half of Kingfisher’s senior pilots have reportedly quit the cash strapped airline, which is only operating 16 of its 64 flights at present. The latest update comes even as the airline’s CEO and top officials were summoned by the DGCA to explain the large-scale disruptions in its operations.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has summoned its CEO Sanjay Aggarwal to appear before the aviation regulator on Tuesday.
As Kingfisher on Monday cancelled 30 more flights in Mumbai and Bangalore while it rescheduled two others. Kingfisher operations at the Kolkata airport were also shut till March 3.
The move by the airlines came a day after it cancelled around 30 flights, leaving passengers stranded without any prior information.
Kingfisher has, meanwhile, stopped all flights to Dhaka, Kathmandu and Bangkok. Operations in Colombo are also likely to get affected.
Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Monday said the government would not give any bailout package to Kingfisher Airlines, which has cancelled a rash of flights over the past four days. He added that the government would not bail out any other private airline either.
“Kingfisher has financial problems and recently the government has seized their bank accounts also. So our first concerns are that the flights which are ongoing passenger safety should not be compromised. DGCA is looking into it” he said.
The airline has admitted to curtailment in its flight schedule, saying such a situation would continue for the next four days. We will operate the full schedule on our booking system within the next four days,” a Kingfisher spokesman had said.
Sources told Agence India Press that, Kingfisher is operating just 16 of the 64 aircraft at present. Half of its senior pilots have quit in the last three months, while other employees haven’t received their salaries for nearly three months.
Passengers were either seen venting haplessly to ground staff or taking this to the social networking platform.
One Ronit Baugh posted on Kingfisher’s Facebook page: “Kingfisher Airlines cancelled my flight twice in one day.
They need to address important things like informing passengers about cancellations.
The lousy customer care takes 51 minutes to answer a stranded passenger’s call and the ground staff at the airport yells back at desperate fliers”. (AIP News)
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