Kingfisher is no more, officially!

There was a lot of discussion going on about reviving Kingfisher Airlines in the past months, after the airline stopped operations in October 2012.

Over the past few weeks and months, it made noises that it was serious about getting back in the aviation game, and was going to pay its employees as well before it could get started again. Employees were given some bit of their salaries, 3 months of the 7 months outstanding before they returned to work. Eventually, the Indian regulator got into the act and ‘suspended’ Kingfisher’s airline operation license. They also refused to approve the winter schedule of the airline.

Vijay Mallya has been trying to offload his stake in the airline to another investor, possibly Etihad, to be able to get the cash to restart operations. However, there have been no signals for them from Etihad yet, and it is possible Etihad will bend towards Jet Airways, who also needs the money, but is a flying airline and could help with Etihad’s plans of world dominance.

It eventually came down to the wire, where Vijay Mallya wanted to invest Rs. 625 Crores (~115 Million $) to restart the airline with 7 aircraft, and his crew wrote a letter to the Indian regulator DGCA asking for a renewal of the license. Not budging, the regulator asked hard questions, such as the plans to pay back the over $ 1.5 billion outstanding to lease companies, staff, airport operators, fuel companies and others. The airline does not have answers to those hard questions yet. And while they were trying to sweet talk the regulator, their license expired as of 31 December 2012.

Though the airline has now found a new nuance in the law, where it can revive its license within 2 years and is downplaying the situation, as of this moment, Kingfisher is officially dead. Like I said earlier, so long Kingfisher!

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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