Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Exclusive! Ring a Ring a Roses…….

Neelam Mathews
March 27, 2012

For those from the generation that have heard the song “There’s a hole in the bucket dear Liza……,” might find a comparison to Kingfisher’s latest press release on its summer schedule “holding plan” that promises “schedule integrity”. Words like FDI, recapitalization, connectivity, reliability, as far as this carrier is concerned, are starting to sound unreliable and repetitive, if I may say so. and they are not leading anywhere.

For those upbeat that the carrier has paid its IT TDS dues of Rs 44 crores –please note, as Aerospace Diary learns, was a result of IATA returning the security deposit it so unceremoniously clamped down on it.  This ofcourse saved a lot of inconvenience to top management who could be caught in a situation without bail.

Now with no international operations left, suspect it wouldn’t make much sense for IATA to be associated with this airline. The issue now, is starting April 7, with nine crores to be paid every week, the magic recapitalization better come fast.

The press release says: “Since we could resume operations after getting re-capitalised (yawn), most staff at these stations have been asked to stay at home whilst remaining on the company's rolls.” Please note it does not say “pay rolls.” So, what now? And for how long...?

It continues: “There is however much speculation on whether we are going to lay off a large number of our staff. To clarify, we are in a "holding" pattern right now and are waiting for various decisions from the Government and our Consortium of Bankers on FDI policy, working capital funding, etc. All of these will have a major impact on the staffing decisions we will have to make.”

Tall order? Given that this didn’t happen in the past six months and highly unlikely in the next few months, somebody is in deep slumber. It is said “You cannot fool all the people all the time,” somehow, call it the devil’s luck or sheer good fortune, Kingfisher may have just achieved the impossible!

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