The wife of an employee of debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines committed suicide here by hanging herself, police said Thursday. She was depressed over the deteriorating financial condition of her family.
"Sushmita Chakravarthy, 45, was found hanging with a ceiling fan at her south Delhi residence in Palam Thursday at 1:30 p.m.," said a police official.
A suicide note left behind by her said that her husband Manas Chakravarthy, a retired airforce official working as a technician in Kingfisher Airlines, has not received salary for the past four-five months, police said. Their son studies engineering in Assam.
"Manas called his wife on her mobile phone. When she did not respond he reached his house and found her hanging," said police, adding that she was depressed over financial crisis. The couple had failed to pay the college fees of their son this year due to the financial crunch.
The debt-ridden airline was virtually grounded Monday as the passenger carrier had to cancel all its 50 flights after a section of its employees went on a flash strike on Sunday demanding payment of their dues by October 5.
Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) A.P. Ojha told IANS that Sushmita was depressed over the financial crisis for the past few months. The thought of airlines becoming defunct prompted her to take this extreme step, said police.
Sushmita's body has been sent for post-mortem in Deen Dayal Upadhaya (DDU) Hospital, added the official.
--Indo-Asian News Service
To fly, Kingfisher must satisfy safety norms: Ajit Sing
To fly, Kingfisher must satisfy safety norms: Ajit Singh
New Delhi/Mumbai, Oct 5 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Friday again made it clear that Kingfisher Airlines cannot fly until it satisfies all the mandatory safety norms.
"In order to give them (Kingfisher Airlines) permission to fly again, they have to satisfy the DGCA (Directorate-General of Civil Aviation) on all safety issues," Singh told reporters as the airline extended its lockout for another week.
Asked whether the airline's licence will be cancelled if it failed to meet the safety parameters, Singh said: "We will have to see the legality of the move to suspend or cancel their licence."
The airline declared a partial lockout Oct 1 after a flash strike by employees. Talks between the management and the striking employees over payment of pending dues failed Thursday.
“We regret that the illegal strike has still not been withdrawn and normalcy has not been restored in the company,” said Prakash Mirpuri, vice president, corporate communications, Kingfisher Airlines.
Scores of disgruntled employees, including pilots, engineers and technicians, took out a procession in Mumbai Friday to the airline's Mumbai office demanding pending salaries and other dues.
"We are making three demands - salary, salary, salary. Everything will be normal as soon as the management clears our pending dues since we are not able to run our households," a pilot taking part in the procession told IANS.
On Thursday, an airline staffer's wife committed suicide in New Delhi citing economic woes.
The airline's management had earlier informed the aviation regulator that it expected flights to restart after it settled employees' dues in the next few days.
The regulator had hauled up the airline as it cancelled all its 50 flights Monday after employees went on strike Sunday demanding payment by Oct 5 of their dues, pending since March.
Key personnel like aircraft maintenance engineers, whose aircraft airworthiness clearance is mandatory for any flight to take off, also struck work.
The employees claim that non-payment of salaries has affected their morale and built up stress levels that can also affect operational safety.
The airline had the lowest market share in August, which stood at 3.2 percent. The airline has a total debt of Rs.7,000 crore from a consortium of banks.
According to a report by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), Kingfisher Airlines may have to shut down operations if $600 million is not infused in it in the next two months.
The company reported a net loss of Rs.650.78 crore ($117 million) for the quarter ended June 30.
Currently, the airline has only 10 operational aircraft from an earlier strength of around 66 planes a year ago. It was also the country's second largest airlines by passenger traffic. The company's scrip at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) fell by 4.68% and stood at Rs13.25 Friday from its previous close at Rs13.90.