No more firing, or hiring, at Kingfisher Airlines

November 17th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Kingfisher Airlines Monday said while it would not lay off employees, it would also not hire new people as long as the current downturn continued.”There is no question of layoffs. The prime minister has given us the assurance that the government would do whatever it takes to address the problems of the aviation sector,” Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya said in an address at the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his interaction with industry leaders Nov 3 asked them to refrain from large-scale layoffs, and advised them to bear in mind their social obligations.

Soon after, he also intervened to ensure state-run oil firms gave more time to domestic carriers to settle their fuel dues.

But Mallya said the aviation industry was being “overtaxed”.

“The basic airfares are lower than fuel surcharge for many Indian destinations. Taxes should immediately be rationalised to make flying affordable,” he said.

Mallya, who is also member of parliament, earlier indicated that if the slump in the market continues, the industry would witness more layoffs.

Jet Airways last month sacked 1,900 employees only to reinstate them a day later, reportedly on government pressure. Carriers including Kingfisher Airlines have over the past month retrenched some staff.

Kingfisher has now sought permission from the government to sell a part of its equity to international carriers, saying a change of policy on foreign investment would help the industry that was facing turbulent weather.

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