Kingfisher cancels flights as pilots fail to show up

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Published: March 12, 2012

Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines today cancelled a series of flights as its pilots failed to show up for work, and it had difficulties in distributing its tickets.

“The flight loads have reduced because of our limited distribution ability caused by the IATA suspension. We are therefore combining some of our flights. Also, some of the flights are being cancelled as a result of employee agitation on account of delayed salaries,” said Prakash Mirpuri, its vice-president of corporate communications.

The carrier again said that the situation is a result of its bank accounts being frozen by the tax authorities and that it is doing all it can to “remedy this temporary situation”.

While the airline would not confirm how many flights were cancelled, Indian media reported that at least 30 flights from Mumbai and New Delhi were not operated.

“We will operate approximately 80% of our planned schedule. We expect to return to our full schedule shortly,” said Mirpuri.

The ailing carrier was suspended from IATA’s Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) and Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS) on 8 March when it failed to provide a cash deposit. Being suspended from the systems means Kingfisher can no longer sell and settle their accounts with travel and cargo agents through it.

On 7 March, it was suspended from IATA’s Clearing House payment system because it did not settle its accounts before the deadline.

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