Kingfisher has suspended all flights until 4 October 2012 following its decision to declare a partial lockout.

"Following a series of protracted and unabated incidents of violence, criminal intimidation, assault, wrongful restraint and other illegal acts including refraining from attending work, by a small section of recalcitrant employees which were all unnecessary and unprovoked, the management has been forced to declare a partial lockout at the airline, effective immediately," says the carrier.

The announcement comes one day after Kingfisher suspended flights across its network as a result of labour unrest.

Media reports in India suggest that the disgruntled employees are mainly aircraft engineers and that they have not been paid for months. In early August, the carrier's pilots went on strike for non-payment of salaries.

Widespread Indian media reports quote civil aviation minister Ajit Singh as saying that the carrier's aircraft will be grounded if they are not certified by an engineer.

Kingfisher claims it "has more than sufficient staff to safely operate its current schedule of flights", but that a small minority of employees are preventing their colleagues from going to work safely. This has forced a "complete paralysis of operations".

"Before commencing legal action, the Company [Kingfisher] will make efforts to continue to engage with these recalcitrant employees to persuade them to cease and desist from intimidating and threatening the vast majority of the work force that is willing to report for work with a view to commence normal flight operations as per the holding plan as soon as possible," says Kingfisher.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news