<p>The management and pilots of debt-trapped carrier Kingfisher Airlines are set for another showdown. Nearly 50 Kingfish-er pilots from Delhi reported sick on Thursday, leading to cancellations of 14 flights. The airline could face more trouble as pilots from other bases, including Mumbai and Bangalore, are threatening to join the agitation over salary delays.
Kingfisher has around 80-90 pilots, including commanders and first officers, in Delhi. Pilots from Mumbai and executive pilots based in Delhi operated flights out of the capital in the wake of the strike. There are about 22 daily departures from Delhi and flights to Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala, Udaipur, Dehradun and Jaipur were cancelled. "We were promised that salary payments will happen from Wednesday but this did not happen. The management has been making promises but has been unable to stick to them. We will meet in Delhi on Friday and decide on the further course of action,'' a Kingfisher commander said. However, according to an airline source, junior employees began receiving their salary on Thursday.
The airline paid December salary last month but about 200 employees, including engineers and pilots, were paid earlier in May after they went on a flash strike. The carrier has a debt of Rs 7,057.08 crore.
Meanwhile, Mallya-led UB group's United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd on Thursday said Kingfisher Airlines has ceased to be its subsidiary as on February 18, 2012, after the carrier allotted shares against optionally convertible debentures to certain entities.
UB Holdings also said certain corporate guarantees given by the company with respect to Kingfisher have been invoked. The company said it is in negotiations with the beneficiaries to reach a settlement.