Employees of Kingfisher airline who have been on strike since last month expressed their anger on Monday about not being able to meet with the airline's owner, Vijay Mallya, as they negotiate the terms of their return to work with Kingfisher's management.
Today, Mr Mallya posted on Twitter: "I travel 24x7 where my multiple work responsibilities take me. Sections of media call me an absconder because I don't talk to them."
Kingfisher Airlines, which is seven months behind on salary payments, has offered to pay three months wages by November 13 and clear the arrears every month after that, if striking employees return to work by Friday.
Chief Executive Sanjay Aggarwal told reporters on Monday he was optimistic employees would back the proposal and he expected a decision in a day or two.
However, even if Kingfisher gets employees back on board, it still has to convince the aviation regulator DGCA to restore its licence, which was suspended on Saturday after it failed to address concerns regarding safety.
The airline plans to meet the Directorate General of Civil Aviation with a revival plan in the "near future", Mr Aggarwal said, while declining to give a more specific time frame. It will also likely meet its lenders by end of this month to discuss a turnaround plan.
The lenders, mostly government banks led by State Bank of India, have refused to extend further credit in the absence of fresh equity, but they have shown patience. Indian state banks rarely force big companies to liquidate.
Kingfisher is in talks with a couple of airlines for investment to help revive operations.
Last month, India allowed foreign airlines to buy stakes of up to 49 percent in local carriers, a long-awaited policy move lobbied for by Kingfisher and seen as providing a lifeline to the country's debt-laden operators."We are continuing discussions on recapitalisation. Those discussions slowed down but they are not stalled," Mr Aggarwal said. "We are committed to clear the (salary) arrears once we are recapitalised."
The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation has said a fully funded turnaround for Kingfisher would cost at least $1 billion.
(with inputs from Agencies)