Grounded Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines has failed to present regulators
with a clear funding plan under a proposal to get it flying again, the country's
aviation minister said.
Kingfisher, owned by drinks tycoon Vijay Mallya and suspended in October over
unpaid debts and salaries, submitted a plan on Monday to the Directorate General
of Civil Aviation to resume a limited service.
According to local media reports, Kingfisher's parent company, UB Group,
offered to inject INR6.5 billion rupees into the carrier - a key condition for
getting it airborne again.
But Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters on Wednesday that UB "did not
say they are going to give anything" to Kingfisher, which has estimated debts of
He did not specify if the proposal, to resume operations with five planes,
had been rejected. But he noted that the airline owed money to banks, staff,
airports, and tax authorities.
All those stakeholders needed to be convinced the relaunch plan was viable
before the DGCA allowed the airline to fly again, Singh said.
Kingfisher, which has been trying unsuccessfully to raise fresh cash for more
than a year, is hoping to attract Etihad Airways as an investor.
The Gulf carrier, which is seeking to widen operations in India and other
Asian markets, is in the final stages of talks to buy part of either Kingfisher
or Indian rival Jet Airways, an Indian government official said last week.
Last month, Diageo bought a majority stake in United Spirits, also a UB Group
company, for USD$2.1 billion. UB did not specify if part of that money would be
injected into Kingfisher.
Gravity always wins!