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CEO of India's Kingfisher Airlines, urged striking employees to return to work



The CEO of India's Kingfisher Airlines, grounded since the start of the month, urged striking employees to return to work as the carrier scrambled to find solutions to its cash flow problems.

Shares in the carrier fell 5 percent, their daily limit, for the eighth straight session on Wednesday as investors lose hope that the airline controlled by drinks baron Vijay Mallya will get a lifeline from a foreign airline or another investor.



The carrier has until the end of next week to explain to the government why it should not be shut.

"Without all of you, without exception, coming back to work, we will have no way forward," chief executive Sanjay Aggarwal said in a letter to employees.

"We have been working relentlessly to try and rectify this situation, and that too against all odds," Aggarwal wrote.

Kingfisher has so far failed in its long-running search for an investor and is USD$2.5 billion in debt by one estimate. The carrier has grounded its fleet since October 1 after an employee protest turned violent.

Staff, who have not been paid for seven months, held protest marches late last week after what police said was the suicide of a Delhi-based employee's wife worried about her family's precarious finances.

Meetings last week between the carrier and pilots and engineers demanding their back pay failed to reach an agreement.

Late on Friday, India's aviation regulator sent a "show-cause" notice to Kingfisher asking why its license to fly should not be cancelled after failing to provide a "safe, efficient and reliable service."

The airline was given 15 days to respond.

The regulator has also asked Kingfisher to stop selling tickets until its concerns are resolved.

"We are aware it is a big ask, but no potential investor will put his money in an airline that is not operational. Neither will our esteemed guests come back to us unless we commence operations soon," Aggarwal wrote to staff.

Kingfisher, once India's second-biggest airline, last week extended what it has described as a partial lockout until October 12.

India recently allowed foreign airlines to buy a maximum 49 percent stake in local carriers, a move long lobbied for by Kingfisher, although no airline has publicly expressed an interest in investing in Kingfisher.

Mallya's United Spirits and Diageo recently confirmed talks for the UK giant to take a stake in India's dominant whisky maker, which could make it easier for Mallya to find funds to rescue Kingfisher.

Since India's investment policy change, "the dialogue with potential investors has gathered momentum," Aggarwal said.

"Even non-strategic investors are showing interest in investing in Kingfisher Airlines, which is a good sign."

Kingfisher has never made money since its launch in 2005, and before grounding its fleet last week, it was flying just 10 planes out of a fleet that numbered 64 a year ago.




India's Kingfisher Airlines CEO urges staff to return to work
Reuters
Kingfisher faces govt deadline to explain why it should not be shut. * Kingfisher yet to get lifeline from any investor. * Shares fall by daily limit for eighth session. NEW DELHI, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The CEO of India's Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, grounded ...
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Kingfisher CEO Urges Staff To Return To Work
Airwise
The CEO of India's Kingfisher Airlines, grounded since the start of the month, urged striking employees to return to work as the carrier scrambled to find solutions to its cash flow problems. Shares in the carrier fell 5 percent, their daily limit, for ...
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Kingfisher hawks tickets for 20 Oct without permit to fly
Firstpost
New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines has finally stopped booking tickets for flights from 12 October and its website is now taking bookings only from 20 October. Though the action must be the result of aviation regulator DGCA's rap on the knuckles over ...
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Firstpost
Sensex falls 162 points; DLF, Kingfisher extend losses
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Kingfisher Airlines shares were locked on the lower circuit for the eight straight session Wednesday. Debt-strapped Kingfisher stopped flights on October 1 after a weekend protest by staff turned violent and has extended what it described as a partial ...
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Kingfisher taking bookings only after Oct 21
Hindu Business Line
Kingfisher Airlines is unlikely to start operations before October 21. While the airline's operational department has sent a mail to its staff saying all flights are “cancelled till October 13/14,” Kingfisher's Web site is accepting bookings from ...
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Hindu Business Line
Kingfisher Airlines asks striking employees to resume flight operations
Business Today
In a letter to employees, Kingfisher CEO Sanjay 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 ...
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Business Today
As Kingfisher staff flees, CEO pleads
Hindustan Times
Debt-laden Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) has urged its employees, who are on strike over unpaid wages, to return to work. “Without all of you, without exception, coming back to work, we will have no way forward,” KFA CEO Sanjay Aggarwal told employees in ...
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