Kingfisher revises timetable, drops four major Indian cities

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Beleaguered Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines has issued a revised summer timetable that sees its services to a number of major Indian cities - including Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Lucknow - "temporarily suspended".

It will now run around 120 daily flights with 20 dedicated aircraft, the company says in a statement.

Data from Innovata shows the carrier - including its low-cost subsidiary Kingfisher Red - previously operated 1,249 flights per week. This included 54 flights to Hyderabad, 26 to Lucknow, 20 to Ahmedabad and 14 to Kolkata.

Kingfisher describes the latest revision to its timetable as a "holding plan" pending recapitalisation of the company and a "return to full utilisation of the aircraft fleet".

The carrier restates its intention to "bounce back as a major player in civil aviation" providing it can secure future funding.

Intriguingly, despite previously having suspended international flights, the new timetable indicates that Kingfisher will run a daily service between London Heathrow and New Delhi for a period of 17 days beginning 25 March.

Although dismissing the immediate threat of mass layoffs, Kingfisher does not entirely rule this prospect out.

It says: "To clarify, we are in a 'holding' pattern right now and are waiting for various decisions from the government and our consortium of bankers...All of these will have a major impact on the staffing decisions we will have to make."

It goes on to praise its staff, who it says have "remained incredibly dedicated and loyal" under difficult circumstances. "Our immediate priority is to access our funds to pay outstanding staff salaries." However, most staff at airports where services have been suspended have been asked to stay at home.

Meanwhile, India's ICICI Bank has asked the airline to increase its loan security or pay back some of the capital. The bank has lent around Rs4.3 billion ($85 million) to the carrier.