Tuesday, 2 October 2012

King Of Good time Now King of bad Time Red Kingfisher in deep blues

Barely a smile greets a visitor in the office. Four young women sporting the airline’s trademark red uniform are clearly not in their element. And they would not speak on the problems faced by the airline.
In 2005, when Kingfisher Airlines was launched, the air hostesses were compared with ramp models and the hospitality was decidedly five-star. Chairman Vijay Mallya appeared himself in video announcements on board to announce that each passenger was like a personal guest for him.

Now, employees look and sound confused. Conversations about vacations have given way to worried talk on unpaid salaries and equated monthly instalments (EMIs) on loans.

Only a handful of employees got their March salaries, after which no one has been paid. From November to March, they received salaries after holding out threats. Several strikes a month are now a norm in the airline, crushed by the weight of debt.

“Mr Mallya, a member of Parliament, famous for his extraordinarily expensive lifestyle, has driven this airline to bankruptcy by sheer mismanagement and bad financial planning,” a group of prominent citizens had said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on February 27.

Mallya has been struggling to convince banks about recasting a mountain of debt the carrier is sitting on after a series of defaults.

Provident fund payments to staff were held up and tax to be deducted at source was not paid by the airline, leading to the tax department freezing its accounts. Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO of  BharatMatrimony.com said the website has seen a 30% rise in the number of Kingfisher air hostesses looking for grooms in the past six months. “They had no time to think about marriage when they had a rocking career. But as their career started suffering, they are looking at marriage a safe option.” A pilot who recently defaulted on his EMI said it hurt him to see Mallya leading a lavish life while his staff languished. There are dozens like him telling stories of dashed dreams.

“We are living off our savings. You can cut down on food but what do you do about school fees when you haven't been paid for seven months? No one cares. Whom do we approach? The government is going out of its way to help him,” said Prakash Pande, an engineer based in Mumbai.

Radhika, 26, had joined the airline as a flight attendant in 2008. In May, the landlord asked them to vacate after non-payment of rent for three months. Radhika is back home in Kolkata. One of her colleagues has traded down for a café job while she applies to other airlines for jobs.

Shillong-bred Jennifer had gifted her parents a trip to London in 2009.  Last April,she sent back her younger brother, who she admitted to a Delhi school, after her pay stopped coming.

“Pilots are flying just to show more flying miles on their CV, just as many airhostesses and others are clinging to their jobs to gain experience,” said Jennifer. Prakash said young air hostesses from smaller cities who came in search of careers to big metros are among the worst-hit.

A few years ago, these people were being lured by rival airlines with six months’ pay as signing bonus.

Permission for foreign direct investment (FDI) in airlines is offering new hopes for the troubled employees. “But nothing is certain. Everybody knows we are in desperate need for jobs and are offered peanuts,” Jennifer said.

Mallya has been actively seeking FDI, but no airline has confirmed an interest. The employees wait for rescue, while passengers are busy running down the brand that once spelt style.

American says installation job caused seat snafu
Wall Street Journal
David L. Campbell, the airline's vice president of safety, said in an interview that the clamps might have been installed incorrectly during maintenance work by American crews and an outside contractor, Timco Aviation Services. He could not recall a ...
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Red Kingfisher in deep blues
Hindustan Times
Radhika, 26, had joined the airline as a flight attendant in 2008. In May, the landlord asked them to vacate after non-payment of rent for three months. Radhika is back home in Kolkata. One of her colleagues has traded down for a café job while she ...
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Kingfisher Must Pay Wages Before Flying Again, Official Says
Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. (KAIR), the Indian carrier that's grounded its fleet and not paid staff since April, must settle wages before it can resume flights, according to an official at the nation's civil aviation ministry. The airline's management was ...
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India's Kingfisher halts flights for 3 days
The Associated Press
By ERIKA KINETZ, AP Business Writer – 1 minute ago. MUMBAI, India (AP) — Kingfisher Airlines has grounded flights for at least three days after a violent strike over unpaid wages at the cash-strapped Indian carrier. The company said late Monday that ...
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Kingfisher engineers on strike over non-payment of dues
Published on Oct 2, 2012 by ndtv. Kingfisher Airlines has hit yet another turbulent patch with a section of engineers going on strike Sunday evening over non-payment of salaries, affecting flight operations. The airline cancelled around 20 flights today.
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Johnnie Walker Could Gain in India as Mallya Struggles
Kingfisher Airlines will need a capital injection of $600 million in the next two months after defaulting on loan payments following five years of losses, industry consultant CAPA Centre for Aviation said in August. Mallya -- worth $1 billion as of ...
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Kingfisher cannot pay even a month's salaries, CEO says
Around 30 of the 250 striking engineers from Kingfisher Airlines were at the meeting with Mr Aggarwal at the airline's office in Mumbai on Monday. The meeting was called by the CEO, nearly 24 hours after the engineers went on strike, in an attempt to ...
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Kingfisher Airlines declares partial lock-out till Thursday
Kingfisher Airlines Limited today announced that following a series of protracted and unabated incidents of violence, criminal intimidation, assault, wrongful restraint, by a small section of recalcitrant employees, the management has been forced to ...
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Kingfisher promises to resume operations in a few days - NewsX
Kingfisher Airlines, which has declared a partial lockout, today said it would resume operations in a few days and the backlog of March salary would be given to its employees soon. Top officials of the airline, who met DGCA chief Arun Mishra, also ...
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1 comment:

  1. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks...

    Seo Chennai


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