Sunday, October 14, 2012

OPINION : Kingfisher- As the Bells Toll

Neelam Mathews
Oct 14, 2012
When Ernest Hemingway helped to make the phrase 'For Whom the Bells Toll," commonplace in his 1940-published book, he would never have envisaged how relevant it would be in the second decade of the 21st  century.
Now, on the verge of extinction and with the impending shadow of arrest hovering over  Vijay Mallya and his top management, PTI reports, have now called for a meeting on Monday Oct 15, with engineers and pilots- labelled criminals not so long ago- to offer part payment of dues for two to three months (of the seven and a half months owed!). 
What is it about this company that takes its staff so much for granted, the world is asking. It is apparent they just don't care anymore. Will the government now stop looking the other way? What use, we query, is an airline that is incapable of flying, not be let loose? Why not let another carrier with a solid business plan be allowed to start? 
Why should Kingfisher be trusted to start operations on Oct 21? What is the status of its so-called business plan it was told to submit in 15 days?  And why are there no questions being asked on what basis will this plan hold? Where is the money? For the sake of Indian aviation, if the airline ever falls back on track, Aerospace Diary recommends a good dose of crisis-management training. Because for the moment, the carrier is already being quoted in classrooms the world over on how not to run a business.
And please, please, KFA, do stop mentioning FDI and the multifarious suitors in line to grab your airline. I may be sticking my neck out a bit- the question remains, if you had somebody dying to hop into partnership with you, an announcement would have been forthcoming. But, in these strange days, one never knows! 
To the staff of Kingfisher, we leave with a verse from the well-known poem First They Came for the Jews:
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

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