India’s Kingfisher Airlines suffered a fresh round of strikes by unpaid employees at the weekend and had to cancel flights.

Kingfisher workers were reported to have stayed away from work on Saturday in protest at not being paid.

The airline, owned by Indian brewery magnate Vijay Mallya, has been in crisis all year.

The carrier pulled out of London in March, when it appeared close to folding, and slashed its domestic flying. But it has staggered on despite repeated complaints about cancelled flights and workers going unpaid.

Mallya issued a statement saying three out of four staff had been paid on Friday and the remainder would be paid this week.

In a letter to the workforce, he said: “Damaging the future of Kingfisher is not going to produce cash. This only makes my recapitalisation efforts more difficult.”

Kingfisher has haemorrhaged cash since its launch in 2005. It has plunged from being India’s second-biggest carrier last autumn to the country’s smallest national airline.