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Kingfisher bid to win back employees

New Delhi, Oct. 10: Kingfisher Airlines’ CEO Sanjay Aggarwal today asked striking employees to return to work as the beleaguered carrier prepares to present its case for air-worthiness before the sectoral regulator, which had slapped a show-cause notice after it announced a lockout on October 1.

In a letter to the employees, Aggarwal said, “Unless we can keep our operations going, we will not be able to rectify the situation. We need you to help us to have any chance of getting back to normalcy. Without all of you, without exception, coming back to work, we will have no way forward.”

The directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has issued a show-cause notice to the carrier, asking why its licence should not be suspended, or cancelled, as it has grounded its entire fleet and has failed to offer a safe and reliable service.

“If we are not convinced that Kingfisher would not be able to run its operations smoothly, a lockdown of the airline is possible. A lot depends on the reply to the notice they give us,” said Prabhat Kumar, joint secretary at the civil aviation department.

According to analysts, the airline wants the strike to end before the 15-day deadline given by the DGCA to reply to the notice so that it can convince the regulator about its ability to run operations smoothly.

“We have currently announced suspension of operations until October 12 and sincerely hope that we will be able to present a viable plan to the DGCA to allow us to resume operations on October 13,” Aggarwal said in the letter.

The striking employees, however, are firm in their stand. “A lot has happened in the last few months. We have received nothing but assurances from the management. This time around we will not budge till the time we are paid our salaries,” said a Mumbai-based pilot with the airline.

The Kingfisher CEO said no potential investor would put money in an airline that was not operational and neither would passengers return till operations commenced.

 
 
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