Kingfisher Airlines eyes phased restart


Mumbai/New Delhi : In a bid to woo potential investors, financially strained Kingfisher Airlines Monday said it will restart operations in a phased manner. However, it did not give any time line for it.

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“We will restart in a phased manner and will provide funding ourselves. We have not asked the banks for any support,” the company said in a statement after a meeting with lenders in Mumbai.

“We have also shared a full recapitalisation plan which will be further discussed with a small designated group of bankers,” the company said.

The airline has a total debt of Rs.7,000 crore from a consortium of banks.

On Oct 20 the aviation regulator suspended the operating licence of the airlines, citing the passenger carrier’s inability to provide any reasonable revival plans.

The regulator also rejected the carrier’s winter schedules for flight departures. The airline last year had a departure rate of 2,930 flights per week, but has since reduced capacity due to mounting debt and an exodus of employees.

The airline was also asked to prepare a credible revival plan and present it to the directorate general of civil aviation, which will take a final call on restoring the airline’s operations licence.

The airline is desperately trying to stay afloat and wants to restart operations, crippled since Oct 1 by an employees’ strike, a lockout and suspension of its flying licence.

The airline is also trying to woo foreign investors by putting up nearly 46 percent of the permitted 49 percent stake in the company for sale.

The rest three percent will remain with foreign institutional investors, qualified foreign investors or other non-strategic foreign investment.

Kingfisher is also said to be in talks with Middle East-based airlines for a possible stake sale to come out of its troubled financial position, sources said.

They said that the airline will first take regulatory approvals to restart operations and give nearly complete control of its decision making to the potential investor.