Kingfisher Airlines on Monday cancelled several flights after a section of employees called for a strike over the ongoing non-payment of salaries.
On Sunday evening, engineers of the private carrier threatened to keep off duty in a protest against the airline management for not paying salaries since March. Fearing that the reduced workforce would affect flight operations, Kingfisher cancelled around 20 flights, Press Trust of India reported.
"A section of employees of Kingfisher Airlines has not been reporting to work over the last fortnight and over the past 2 days, they have been threatening and even manhandling the other employees who are reporting to work as usual," Kingfisher said in a statement.
Reports said that employees have set a deadline for the management to pay the outstanding salaries by Oct 5.
The strike led to many passengers having to wait for long inside flights as engineers refused to connect the aero-bridges for passengers to get off the planes. Reports suggested that the strike will have its impact on Monday as well.
According to The Hindu, four flights from Delhi were cancelled and another five planes coming from the city were delayed by half an hour. Other reports said that several arriving and departure flights in Mumbai were also cancelled.
In view of the mass cancellations of Kingfisher flights, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will examine the airline's operations and discuss the current situation with the Civil Aviation Ministry.
Kingfisher employees airline have been striking since April over payment delays. The Vijay-Mallya-owned carrier is encumbered with a loan amount of ₹70 billion in 17 banks and has most of its bank accounts frozen, causing disruptions in the flight schedule.
Last week, the airline management held a meeting with several employee representatives but failed to resolve the matter, resulting in the latest strike.