Kingfisher crunch meeting to resume flights

Grounded Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines has called for a crunch meeting with engineers and pilots from across its operating bases today in an attempt to resume flights.

The debt-ridden carrier wants to return to operations on October 21 but must submit a viable business plan to the country’s civil aviation regulator.

Workers have been in dispute since October 1 over unpaid salaries, prompting the airline to impose a ‘lock out’ which has been extended until October 20.

Executive vice president Hitesh Patel called for one representative each from the engineering and pilot divisions for the meeting at its Mumbai headquarters.

Efforts to break the deadlock came amid reports that billionaire owner Vijay Mallya faces an arrest warrant after multi-million rupee cheques issued by the carrier to Hyderabad airport bounced.

Mallya has said he is in discussion with a foreign airline after overseas carriers were allowed to invest in Indian airlines by a change of regulations last month.

Announcing the extension of the lock out until October 20, the airline said on Friday: “The company is continuing to work with and appeal to the employees striking to return to work so that the airline can share its resumption plan with DGCA [Directorate General of Civil Aviation] and gain their concurrence.”

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