Monday, February 20, 2012

From Bird Strikes to Bank Accounts- The excuses are getting lamer by the hour

Neelam Mathews

Feb 20, 2012

Kingfisher Airlines must either take its readers (Read Media) to have very short memories or they must think we are fools (more likely the latter!).


Yesterday we got a statement that said bird strikes were the cause of the disruption- 18 planes of 66 were flying. (The birds must be attracted to their counterpart, Kingfisher- a lot to keep banging into them in the air! ) Today (being a holiday) the press release attributed the “prime reason” for the chaos to “the sudden attachment of our bank accounts by the IT department.”


“We are in dialogue with the tax authorities to agree a payment plan and get the bank accounts unfrozen at the earliest,” says the release. So when did this freezing of bank accounts actually take place? Recently? A while ago? What was the airline doing? And was DGCA informed? If not, why not? If it was, what action was taken? Is the DGCA running short on staff? If it is, how is growth being managed? Where does safety figure in this equation? Questions the industry is asking.


“About 15% of our flights operating consistently for the past 3 months have been cancelled and we have done and are doing our best to inform guests in advance of cancellations and clubbing and to re-book them on other carriers,” says the KFA release. Really? With 16 aircraft in the air (today), 15% is an unlikely number. Or this is done conveniently to average it out? Maybe I’m just poor in math.

“If the guests so desire, we are offering them a full refund.” IF!!!?? The guests are clamoring for it. But with bank accounts frozen, how do you reimburse them?

“We’ve been in touch with the DGCA to keep them informed of the disruptions.” I could be wrong, but the DGCA was quoted on the electronic media saying it has not been informed. So, which way does the cookie crumble?

“We have adequate numbers of flight crew and cabin crew to operate our schedule of flights.” That’s truly a refreshing thought. Hope they’ll be there by the time accounts are unlocked.

1 comment:

  1. Let's get real. As of now there is space for only two 'full service' carriers in the Indian domestic aviation industry!. Out of Air India,Jet, and Kingfisher, one has to fold up!