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Vijay Mallya promises salary to employees

NEW DELHI: As crisis-ridden Kingfisher witnesses an exodus of employees, especially pilots, airline chief Vijay Mallya on Sunday claimed in a mail to employees that he had arranged for funds to pay their salaries. He has also admitted the exodus, while questioning the claim of an airline to be profitable. Mallya is learnt to be in talks with two foreign airlines – International Airlines Group (owner of British Airways) and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad – to invest in his beleaguered carrier.

Meanwhile, a group of eminent citizens has written to PM Manmohan Singh, asking him not to give any bailout to the private airline at taxpayers’ expense.

Mallya’s mail says: “I have organized funding so that we can pay your seriously overdue salaries which is a source of great personal sorrow for me. We are currently handicapped as our bank accounts are frozen by the tax authorities. I have been working tirelessly to urgently resolve this issue…”

On the exodus, he says: “Whilst many may have left our family and many may be in the process of leaving, our family may have become smaller for now…. We were the biggest and best. We may not be the biggest now but we remain simply the best for our guests and our valued King Club members.” Dangling a carrot, he says employees who stay with the airline in these tough times will be rewarded once Kingfisher turns around.

Without naming IndiGo, Mallya questions if any airline can be profitable in India. “Government policies can make or break any industry. So far, it has been downhill for civil aviation except for one airline that defies the odds and claims to be profitable however unlikely that may be.”

He lists allowing direct import of jet fuel and the move towards permitting foreign airlines to invest in Indian carriers as positive ones that could help the industry. Meanwhile, a group of eminent citizens like Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, and S C Agrawal on Monday wrote an open letter to Singh, asking him not to consider any bailout to the beleaguered private airline at taxpayers’ expense. “The government seems set to ‘persuade’ banks to provide him yet another bailout to fund a company that has so far racked up almost Rs 7,000 crore in losses, entirely funded by loans.

Since most of the money has been lent by nationalized and public sector banks, which are repeatedly capitalized by government, it would mean that this private enterprise will be bailed out with public funds. We, a group of concerned citizens, are writing to express our strong objection to any further bailout of the flamboyant billionaire, which will only allow him to continue to mismanage the airline,” the letter says.

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Posted by on Feb 28 2012. Filed under Business India News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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