New Delhi: At least 34 pilots of struggling Kingfisher Airlines have quit earlier this month, with the total number rising to about 80 since last October, industry sources said on Monday.
The sources said 34 pilots, both commanders and co-pilots, had put in their papers as of five days ago. Another over 40 cockpit crew had earlier resigned.
However, there was no confirmation from the airline about these resignations. Kingfisher has been suffering from a severe cash crunch that has culminated into the Income Tax authorities freezing its bank accounts last week on grounds of non-payment of tax dues.
Reports also suggested that a large number of ground staff, mostly on contract, were also put on notice by the cash-strapped carrier and their contracts not renewed.
Trouble had started in Kolkata last Friday when the airline announced it would stop operations for four days, leading the employees at the airport to demand their salaries and finally staging a walkout, leaving passengers in the lurch.
The airline today said in a statement that "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."