Kingfisher’s scrip falls four percent

March 5th, 2012 - 3:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 5 (IANS) Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines’ scrip fell 4.36 percent in the early hour of trade at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) at Rs.23 as the company’s accounts remained frozen by the Service Tax department.

The scrip was hovering at Rs.3.25, down 3.33 percent at the BSE around 1 p.m.

The airlines’ problems increased as the service tax department — for the fourth time in four months — froze 40 bank accounts belonging to Kingfisher, which owes Rs.40 crore to the department as the airline failed to meet the Feb 29 deadline for clearing the dues.

“We are trying our very best to cooperate with the tax authorities and get our accounts unfrozen at the earliest so that normalcy could be restored, employee salaries paid and further aircraft recoveries started,” an official said.

The airline has also refuted speculation that it planned to shut down its operations as a section of pilots have threatened to boycott work without pay and dues being given to them.

The development comes after Kingfisher’s chief executive Sanjay Aggarwal met pilots Thursday and sought their cooperation. However, reports allege that Aggarwal told pilots that if they do not cooperate, then the airline would have to shut shop.

“Aggarwal met with a group of pilots to appeal to them not to stay away from flying duties which would potentially affect the operating schedule. At no time was there any suggestion that Kingfisher Airlines would shut down. Our flights are operating as per schedule.”

The airlines’ troubles started Feb 18 when its employees in Kolkata went on a flash strike. The carrier, on the other hand, blames the seizure of its bank accounts by the Income Tax department as the main reason for flight plan curtailment.

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