India’s Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Tuesday made it clear that the grounded Kingfisher Airlines would not get any help from the government and said it was too late to rescue the airline.
Speaking to IBNLive, Singh dismissed the possibility of the government intervening to save the Liquor Baron Mallya-controlled airline and said it would have to come up with a sound and valid revival plan to start the operations again.
"It is a private company, doesn't come under any ministry. Yes they have a problem, but the government cannot interfere. The Kingfisher problem is very big. They have to give a very sound plan to the government that they can pay taxes and their dues," Singh was quoted as saying by IBNLive.
Kingfisher Airlines’ flying license was cancelled Saturday after the company failed to reply to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) show cause notice asking it why its license should not be cancelled due to its inadequate and inefficient services.
The airline canceled all its flights and declared a partial lockout Oct 1 after its employees refused to work protesting against the nonpayment of salaries.
All the meetings held between the management and employees to end the impasse were unsuccessful.
The airline has a total debt-cum-loss burden of 160 billion rupees and its chances of a revival looks bleak as it is not in a position to raise further funds from the lenders and the chances of finding a foreign suitor will be difficult, considering its debt burden.
Lenders’ Consortium To Meet Soon
A consortium of Kingfisher’s lenders will meet soon to discuss further action against the airline which has not repaid its debts for several months.
“Now that DGCA action is before us, we (bankers) will meet and take a call,’’ K.R. Kamath, chairman and managing director of Punjab National Bank, was quoted as saying by the Business Line.
The lenders, who have a combined exposure of 75 billion rupees to the airline’s debts, are considering all options, including recovery.
Vijay Mallya To Attend F1 Grand Prix In Delhi
Unfazed by his employees’ protests and the airline’s crisis, Vjay Mallya will be attending the Indian Grand Prix event in the weekend.
Mallya, who was not spotted publically after the crisis in Kingfisher worsened, said in a statement that he was eagerly looking to the Formula 1 event scheduled to be held in Delhi between Oct 26 and 28.
"I remember how proud I felt last year to see our cars racing in India in the colors of the Indian flag. It was a moment I had dreamed about and a great sporting achievement for our country," Mallya said in the statement, the Economic Times reported Tuesday.
“This year I would like to go one better and see both our cars in the points - at the very least - so that we can give our fans something to smile about,” he added.
Kingfisher employees Monday declared that they would be holding protests against their boss if he attended the event.
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