Kingfisher Employees Strike Finally Ends

Tuesday, 30th October 2012 at 01:01am

The standoff between the management and the employees of the beleaguered airline is finally over as the employees agreed to return to work on Friday after weeks of work stoppage.

The protest arose from the non-payment of salaries of its employees which have accumulated since March this year. Sanjay Aggarwal, the carrier's CEO, is hopeful that Kingfisher Airlines would take off again anytime soon after it ceased flying since October 1.

He told the media that the management sat down with the representatives of the striking workers, listened to their concerns, assessed them carefully and agreed to terms beneficial to both parties.

The employees agreed to staggered payment of unpaid salaries as proposed by the management and before the start of next year, they shall have received their salaries equivalent to four months. The remainder shall be paid thereafter, according to Subhash Chandra Mishra, the worker's spokesman.

The next thing the management needs to do is ask the government to reinstate its license to fly after its suspension last week due to safety concerns.

Kingfisher Airlines, used to be one of the two biggest dominant players in the domestic travel market. Never been profitable, it piled up huge debt over the years since day one when it started its operations in 2005.

According to aviation consultancy firm, Center for Asia Pacific Aviation, the embattled airline has piled up a debt of $2.5B, $1.1B of which is unpaid bank loans. On top of that, its total loss swelled to $1.9B as of June 2012.

The ailing airline is owned by Vijay Mallya, the business magnate who is known for his flamboyant lifestyle, throwing lavish parties to equally famous personalities and celebrities.

Vijay Mallya owns India's largest producer of beer, the United Brewery Group (UBG). The UB Group is a conglomerate which has business interest in major industries such as aviation, beverages, chemicals and electrical. His penchant for sports is shown through his ownership of Formula One team, Force India as well as a cricket team, Royal Challengers. According to Forbes magazine, his fortune stands at $1B.

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