Kingfisher Airlines has had to cancel five short-haul flights as a number of pilots again refused to turn up for work. India’s former number two airline is continuing to struggle against mounting debts and an inability to pay it staff wages.
Officials confirmed that the cancellations were on flights connecting Delhi with regional airports. Although the company has been unable to find replacement pilots to fly the turboprop 70-seater ATR aircraft it said that all Airbus A320 services would be operating as usual.
The cancelled flights are two services each to Dehradun and Daramsala and one flight from the capital to Shimla. This is the second strike by Kingfisher pilots in just eight days. Since the beginning of the year the airline has been forced to trim its domestic services and cancel all international routes as it battles with its debts.
The carrier has had its accounts frozen because it has failed to come up with a strategy to pay its tax bills and repay banks and lenders. Vijay Mallya, the owner of the airline, has been promising to pay backdated wages to the airline’s staff for five months. He has also said that he is lobbying the government to change the rules on overseas investment so that talks can be held with foreign airlines about investment.
The company’s chief executive Sanjay Aggarwal is due to meet with pilots and other workers to discuss the present situation shortly.