Tuesday 18 December 2012

Kingfisher Airlines Plans to Resume Some Operations Soon

Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. Monday said it plans to resume at least some of its flights soon.
"We will start in a phased manner and provide funding ourselves," spokesman Prakash Mirpuri said in a statement.
The airline hasn't asked its lenders for any support to resume operations, he added.
Kingfisher's chairman, Vijay Mallya, met the company's lenders earlier in the day and told them about its plans.
After the meeting, Shyamal Acharya, deputy managing director at its biggest lender, State Bank of India, told reporters the airline will need 4.25 billion rupees ($77.5 million) to resume flight operations.
State Bank and five other lenders--IDBI Bank Ltd., Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and United Bank of India--have formed a group to monitor the airline's flight-resumption plan, Mr. Acharya said.
The carrier suspended its operations in October because of a strike by its employees over unpaid salaries. Later that month, the aviation regulator suspended its licenses as the company failed to provide a plan to resume operations.
Kingfisher's employees ended their strike in late October after the company promised to pay part of their salaries. However, the regulator hasn't yet allowed it to resume flights.
Mr. Mirpuri and Mr. Acharya didn't say how and by when the airline would get its flying license reactivated.
The airline has been making losses since its inception in 2005.
It had accumulated losses of $1.9 billion and owed $2.5 billion to banks, suppliers and majority shareholders, according to a report by aviation consultant CAPA-Centre of Aviation. As of end-November, it also owed more than $36 million to the government in taxes.
Recently, the company said it was in talks with Etihad Airways to sell a stake to the Abu Dhabi-based carrier.
A group company, United Spirits Ltd., last month said it would sell a controlling stake to British liquor company Diageo PLC. Analysts were expecting part of the proceeds to go for reviving Kingfisher.

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