Kingfisher Airlines to use own resources to fund its revival

Kingfisher Airlines to use own resources to fund its revival New Delhi: Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines, which has resolved a 26-day deadlock over salary dues with its employees, on Friday told aviation regulator DGCA that it would use its own resources to fund its revival.

At a meeting with DGCA chief Arun Mishra, airline CEO Sanjay Aggarwal informed him that "at present, the source of funding for the airline will be through their own resources," official sources said after the 30-minute meeting.

The assurance came a day after Kingfisher promised to pay four months' pending salary to its employees by December, who immediately called off their strike and the management lifted the 25-day lockout.

While there is no tangible information about any fresh investments coming in the near future, the sources said Kingfisher would have to spend its own resources for revival. It has been shelling out an average of about Rs 20 crore a month on payment of salaries to about 4,000 employees.

The airline's top brass are likely to discuss the revival plan with UB Group chief and Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya very soon, officials said.

At the meeting, the DGCA chief asked the management to take on board all its stakeholders like Airports Authority of India, other airport operators, oil companies and Maintenance, Repairing and Overhaul operators to support the airline's revival plan, the sources said.

The regulator said it would also be consulting these stakeholders before it took any decision to revoke suspension of the airline's flying license imposed on October 5.

The DGCA also asked the debt-ridden airline to prepare and submit its winter schedule, depending on the number of aircraft it had in its fleet.

The carrier, which last year had a fleet of 66 aircraft, now has ten -- seven Airbus A-320s and three ATR turbo-props. One more aircraft would join the fleet soon after it completes the mandatory engineering check.
Kingfisher is saddled with a loss of Rs 8,000 crore and a debt burden of another over Rs 7,524 crore, a large part of which has not been serviced for several months.

"We had a discussion with the DGCA to get a better understanding about presenting the revival plan (covering financial and operational aspects of the airline). We will get back to them very soon," Aggarwal said.

"We have not submitted any revival plan yet. But we will present it soon. No time-frame has been specified," he added.

DGCA sources said the operational and financial plan for revival of the airline should include the number of aircraft they have, the routes they want to operate on, apart from financial issues including debt repayment.
They said all information necessary to prove that the airline would be able to run in a sustained manner would be required to be included in the plan.

Kingfisher can resume its flights only after DGCA is satisfied on safety and financial viability of the airline and revokes suspension of its license. The process may take 3-4 weeks.

PTI