Kingfisher's revival plan lacks funding details: civil aviation minister

Singapore
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India's civil aviation minister Ajit Singh says regulators are unconvinced that Kingfisher Airlines' proposal to restart operations is viable as it lacks funding details.

The beleaguered airline, which suspended its operations in October, had submitted a plan on how it intends to revive the airline to the country's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on 24 December.

Local media reports say Kingfisher, which has never turned a profit, had proposed to restart operations with five aircraft, and that its parent UB Group will inject Rs6.5 billion ($119 million) into the carrier for its funding needs.

Singh however told reporters that UB had not backed up Kingfisher's claims and that the airline's funding plan is unclear.

The DGCA, which has not said whether it will allow Kingfisher to fly again, is expected to ask the carrier for more details on its funding plans.

Cash-strapped Kingfisher has been seeking investors for a long time now, and recently confirmed that it is in talks with Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways about a possible equity investment.

The airline grounded its fleet and suspended operations on 1 October after employees went on strike because of the non-payment of salaries. India's DGCA then suspended Kingfisher's air operator's certificate on 20 October after it failed to satisfactorily respond to a show cause notice.

Kingfisher declined to comment when contacted.

The carrier's net loss widened to Rs7.54 billion for its fiscal second quarter from Rs4.68 billion a year earlier.