Ailing Kingfisher Airlines extended partial lockout till Oct.12, as talks between management and employees failed to resolve impasse over salaries that have not been paid for over six months.
The airline controlled by liquor baron Vijay Mallya that never reported a profit thus far has been closed from Oct.1, after weekend protests by staff turned violent.
Spokesman Prakash Mirpuri said in a statement late Thursday: "We regret that the illegal strike has still not been withdrawn and normalcy has not been restored in the company, thereby continuing to cripple and paralyze the working of the entire airline."
The extension of shutdown adds pressure on Chairman Vijay Mallya who seeks investments to avert collapse of his airline saddled with 86 billion rupees debt ($1.6 billion), and losses for five straight years, Bloomberg reported.
Besides, Kingfisher has to persuade authorities its aircraft are safe and salary payments are arranged before it can resume operations, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh noted.
As a fallout of the worsening crisis, wife of one of the Airlines' Delhi-based employee committed suicide blaming financial stress for non-payment of salary to her husband.
The airline also announced to the National Stock Exchange that Company Secretary Bharath Raghavan quit the company.
Reportedly, Kingfisher Airline CEO Sanjay Agarwal and Executive Vice President Hitesh Patel met Delhi-based staff including engineers and pilots to convince them to rejoin duty, a leading Indian business daily reported.
Though management offered March salary to employees and assured to pay the remaining six months' salary after the airline was recapitalized, offer was rejected by employees for second time in two days.
Worsening crisis has forced Kingfisher's lenders to hold an emergency meeting in Mumbai to discuss the evolving situation.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh expressed doubts if the carrier facing a lockout will resume operations soon.
Kingfisher plans to use 600 million rupees that lie in frozen bank accounts to pay staff, the industry regulator said. Tax officials froze the airline's accounts earlier this year after it failed to deposit taxes deducted from staff, Reuters has reported.
Kingfisher's employee expenses for the year that ended in March totaled 6.7 billion rupees, though many staff has moved on since then.
The stock continued to post losses for the fifth straight day Oct.5, on Bombay Stock Exchange, trading at 13.25 rupees, down 65 paise, or 4.68% lower than the previous close.
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