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IT freeze of bank accounts led to curtailment of services: Kingfisher Airlines

New Delhi/Bangalore , Mon, 20 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi/Bangalore, Feb.20 (ANI): Kingfisher Airlines on Monday said that the freezing of its bank accounts by income tax authorities had 'severely affected' payment schedules to its staff and this had led to a curtailment in its services.


"The prime reason for the current disruption in our flight schedules is the sudden attachment of our bank accounts by the I-T department. This has severely affected our ability to make operational payments leading to the present curtailment," an airline spokesperson said in a statement.


It said the employees' "salaries can be paid and the grounded aircraft can be recovered quicker once the bank accounts are unfrozen and the schedule restored on priority."


The spokesperson said the company was in talks with the income tax authorities "to agree (on) a payment plan and get the bank accounts unfrozen at the earliest.


"We are appealing to them to see reason that inconvenience to the travelling public is not in anybody's interests," he said.


Meanwhile, Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Agarwal and other top officials will appear before the Director General of Civil Aviation on Tuesday to explain the large-scale disruptions in the operations of the cash-strapped carrier.


Kingfisher Airlines had earlier claimed that it will give the salaries to its employees in a week's time, blaming "some large unexpected payments" for the delay in salary disbursement.


Agarwal also hinted that the disruption of flights operations will continue for one more week.


Aggarwal informed airline employees that the airline has arranged a cash advance of Rs. 5000 for each member of the staff.


The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is reported to be mulling action against Kingfisher as the airline continues to cancel flights across the country.


On Monday, Kingfisher cancelled 30 more flights in Mumbai and Bangalore while it rescheduled two others. Kingfisher operations at the Kolkata airport were also shut till March 3.


The move by the airlines came a day after it cancelled around 30 flights, leaving passengers stranded without any prior information.


According to sources, Kingfisher is operating just 16 of the 64 aircraft at present.


Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has said that the government cannot give a bailout to private airlines, and added that banks can give money to the airlines under Reserve Bank of India (RBI) norms. (ANI)


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