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Air Costa’s woes worsen; more than 40 pilots quit

| | New Delhi

Embattled Air Costa has seen an exodus of employees, including 40 pilots, in the last few weeks over non-payment of salaries.

The airline, which has cancelled bookings till May, is scrambling for funds to restart its operations but is yet to make much headway in roping in investors.

Air Costa’s 450-odd employees are literally at the crossroads amid worsening financial situation, and industry executives apprehend there could be a replay of erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines -- whose shuttering in 2012 had rendered hundreds of people jobless.

Faced with cash crunch and financial issues with the aircraft lessors, Vijaywada-based Air Costa has not flown since February 28.

A source said employees have not been paid salaries for the month of February while more than half of the staff have not received any payment since January.

Air Costa first suspended its operational in August 2016 after aircraft lessor GE Capital Aviation Services taking back one of the three-leased Embraer planes as the airline failed to pay lease rentals.

At that time, the regional carrier had over 600 employees on its roll. Since then, around 150 people, including the 14 commanders and 30-odd first officers have quit, the source said.           

 
 
 
 
 

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