50 pilots resign in a week, leave Kingfisher high and dry
MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: An exodus of pilots is perhaps the reason behind cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines' recent travails. Thirty-five of its A320 commanders put in their papers on February 14 and joined rival IndiGo the next day. The blow to the airline was worsened over the weekend as 15 more of its commanders quit. In all, between 300 and 350 KFA pilots have quit the airline in the last six months.
The impact of the resignations has hit the airline hard, but not debilitated it because it currently operates just 16 of its total fleet of 64 aircraft. Of these 16, eight are ATR aircraft and the rest A320s that operate on routes like Mumbai-Delhi, Mumbai-Goa and Mumbai-Bangalore. The remaining 48 aircraft have been grounded for want of spare parts.
Industry experts said the departure of 50 commanders within a week is bound to affect Kingfisher's A320 aircraft flights. The carrier cancelled more than 50% of its flights on Monday, the third day of its mass flight cancellation crisis.