<p>An agitation by a section of pilots of Kingfisher Airlines, barely into its second day on Friday, fizzled out after the Vijay Mallya-headed company began paying salaries to its employees amid a financial crunch.
Yesterday, over 50 pilots from Delhi had reported sick. By last night, pilots from Mumbai and Bangalore were expected to join the stir, but that did not happen, leading to a loss of momentum in the protest. Even so, the airline was on Friday forced to cancel as many as 14 flights from Delhi to Kulu, Dharmshala, Jabalpur, Shimla, Dehradun, Udaipur and Chandigarh. These were done in anticipation of the pilots’ strike gaining strength. A few flights from Mumbai, too, were pulled out.
That apart, there was no large-scale disruption.
The airline flies 110 flights daily.
A senior captain said the management has promised the payment of salaries to all the staff by coming Tuesday. “In fact, employees have started receiving salary from yesterday,” he told Business Standard. “We are told that about 1,800 employees have been paid till now.”
Pilots from the Delhi base were supposed to chart out further course of action of the strike this afternoon, but the meeting in the national capital was called off. Soon, the strike was withdrawn, as Mumbai-based pilots did not join the agitation.
Mallya, who is the chairman of the airline, had earlier warned pilots of participating in the strike. In the letter, that the 56-year-old industrialist said he would “act firmly and decisively”, saying he would not allow a “small group of misguided employees to derail and jeopardise operations” of his airline. He, further, urged employees to maitained the revised schedule.