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Kingfisher cancels 30 flights

Trouble for Kingfisher Airlines again erupted today with at least 30 flights either being cancelled or clubbed as several pilots and other staffers failed to report for work to protest delays in salary payments.

At least 13 flights from Mumbai were cancelled, while it has been reported that there was no operation from Kolkata on Monday 12 March. Nine departures from Delhi were also either cancelled or clubbed, airport sources said, adding only three direct flights each way were available on the busiest Mumbai-Delhi sector which has seven daily services.

Kingfisher Airlines was suspended from three settlement systems of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week, hurting the airline’s ability to deal with global airlines and travel agents.

“The flight loads have reduced because of our limited distribution ability caused by the IATA suspension,” Kingfisher said in a statement on Monday.

“This situation has arisen as a consequence of our bank accounts having been frozen by the tax authorities. We are making all possible efforts to remedy this temporary situation,” the airline said.

Kingfisher’s bank accounts were frozen last month over outstanding dues. According to local media, Kingfisher was also issued a “show-cause” notice last week, asking it to explain why it had not paid about INR3 billion rupees (USDD$600.5 million) of tax.