21 NOVEMBER 2011


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Article from BTNews 21 NOVEMBER 2011

Kingfisher Airlines has problems

India’s Kingfisher Airlines, owned and controlled by drinks' mogul Vijay Mallya, has some serious financial problems.  Its shares are at a record low and it has been cancelling a whole series of flights.  It has said it will cut routes that are unprofitable.  From Heathrow the airline operates to Delhi and Mumbai.

Founded in 2005, Kingfisher has never made a profit.  It has applied for oneworld membership and currently operates a fleet of 27 ATRs, 34 Airbus A320 series and five A330s.  Last month staff salaries were delayed.

Kingfisher, which has US$1.5bn of debt according to data compiled by Bloomberg, owes the Indian government US$83m in taxes it deducted from its employees’ pay cheques and has defaulted on loan payments, the company’s auditors said in the latest annual report. 

Officials at UB Group, which controls Kingfisher, said the airline was talking to an Indian investor to raise funds, but declined to give more details.  The Indian civil aviation minister ruled out a public bailout for Kingfisher or any other airline, urging private carriers to put their own house in order. 

In London, popular Sales Manager, the genial Rick Saggar, has now joined Gulf Air as new UK and Ireland Country Manager. www.flykingfisher.com

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