Kingfisher defers aircraft delivery, cuts jobs

September 23rd, 2008 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) With the recession in the aviation sector worldwide, private Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines Tuesday said it had deferred deliveries of a number of Airbus aircraft and sacked 300 employees.”As part of a concerted effort to minimize the impact of the ongoing turbulence faced by the aviation industry, we have closely examined aircraft utilization and have identified surplus aircraft which are now redundant and are therefore being returned back,” said the airlines spokesperson.

“We have already returned two aircraft and are closely monitoring the aircraft utilisation,” the spokesperson further said in a statement.

The spokesperson said this move was part of the airline’s strategy and restructuring measures to achieve cost savings, rationalization and operational efficiencies.

According to sources, the airline has negotiated with Airbus to defer deliveries of 32 A320-family aircraft to 2010-12 from 2008-09. Also, five of the 10 long-haul A340 aircraft it has ordered have been converted to A330/200s.

Kingfisher has five A380 superjumbos on order, scheduled for delivery from 2012, as well as 20 A350 aircraft scheduled for delivery from 2013. It also has a further 20 A330/200 aircraft on order, making it one of the single largest stakeholders in the Airbus order backlog by number of planes.

Part of Vijay Mallya’s UB group, Kingfisher currently operates 424 domestic flights and two international flights with a total of 86 aircraft.

The spokesperson said: “We examined the complete organization structure of the airline and mapped the skill sets of the existing talent pool with the projected talent requirements of the company. As a result, 300 employees were chosen to move on and have parted ways with the company put in their resignations.”

The airline offered them two months’ salary.

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