Kingfisher Airlines
Aviation Regulatory De-registers 15 aircraft operated by Kingfisher AirlinesReuters

The crisis-struck Kingfisher Airlines is facing an employee exodus after it failed to come up with feasible revival plans, reported Financial Express.

Around 500-550 employees have left since October following violent protests over unpaid dues, leading to the airline being grounded. The exodus was witnessed among the managerial staff, ground staff, engineers and pilots of the airline.

Citing uncertainty in Kingfisher Airlines resuming its operations, a former management-level employee said, "There is no guarantee the airline will resume flying, so a lot of us have left for other opportunities."

"Me and some former colleagues will get the full and final settlement from the airline. The good thing is, we have found jobs in other industries," added the employee, whose identity is not revealed.

Though employee walkouts were reported quite often, Kingfisher Airlines declined to make any comments on the same.

Unlike management and ground staff, the number of engineers and pilots who left the company is relatively less. "There are fewer exits among engineers and pilots," said a former Kingfisher engineer.

"The industry has more engineers and pilots than available jobs."

While the ground staff who left the company found corresponding jobs in other airlines, the managerial staff has rooted themselves to other industries.

Many are hoping to find jobs in the joint airline venture by Tata Sons and AirAsia, who have reportedly commenced the recruitment drive for the upcoming domestic airline.

"Perhaps with the entry of AirAsia and expansion of IndiGo, more jobs may come up. However, as of now, things look bleak," said the engineer.

Kingfisher Airlines, which was stranded since 1 October, 2012, also lost its operation permit after its licence expired on 31 December.

Though the company submitted revival plans, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was unconvinced and stated , "They (Kingfisher Airlines) have to satisfy a lot of conditions before they can fly again," said Arun Mishra, director general of civil aviation. "Salaries haven't been paid and there are dues to lessors and banks. Even if they can't satisfy all of them, they need to clear some of their dues. The revival plan does not clarify on any of these issues."

DGCA said it is ready to cooperate with Airports Authority of India (AAI) and lessors to help unpaid lessors take back their planes from Kingfisher Airlines, reported Financial express.

The airline owns only three aircrafts and were leased the rest 28 which will be claimed back by the lessors.

"We will de-register the planes as and when we get a request from the lessors," said Mishra. "We will also talk to AAI to help lessors take their planes back as that is the international convention."

Kingfisher has a debt of ₹8,630 crores, of which ₹7,000 crores account for loan and interest. Lenders are expected to commence recovery proceedings from the airlines soon.