New Delhi/Mumbai: A section of Kingfisher Airlines pilots on Friday called off their two-day old agitation over non-payment of salaries after some tough talk by the carrier's boss Vijay Mallya, who vowed to deal with the situation "firmly".

The pilots decided to return to work following a meeting with the airline management in New Delhi after flights were cancelled for the second day on Friday. The stir added to the woes of passengers already hit by Air India pilots agitation.

The airline was forced to cancel 12 flights from Delhi and Mumbai on Friday as around 70-odd pilots from north India did not report for duty. It cancelled 17 flights on Thursday.

The management has once again assured the employees of remitting the January salaries by May 15, and a part-payment of the February dues would follow soon, airline sources said.

"In view of the developments, the pilots, who had been reporting sick since on Thursday, have decided to withdraw their agitation and resume duties," they said.

According to the sources, the meeting came a day after Mallya sent a strong message over the agitation in a communication to the employees.

"I will not allow a small group of misguided employees to derail and jeopardise the efforts of several thousand members of our family and all the stakeholders in Kingfisher Airlines.

I will act firmly and decisively in order to protect our guests, our loyal and dedicated employees and our Company," Mallya said.

Around 1,800 employees have already received their salaries which include some co-pilots, sources said, adding that "Mumbai pilots have (already) decided to fly". The airline currently has around 7,000 workforce.

"We managed to earn credibility and loyalty amongst our dear guests with a stable 'holding schedule' with good integrity and on time performance. Unfortunately, as a result of actions by a few, this and the dedicated efforts and passion of all of you could be at risk," the Kingfisher boss said.

Kingfisher Airlines has been facing financial troubles for almost a year now. The airline reported a net loss of Rs 444.26 crore in the December quarter. It suffered a loss of Rs 1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a debt of Rs 7,057.08 crore.

(Agencies)

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