So whats up at Kingfisher Airlines?

It has been a while since Kingfisher Airlines came in the news, so I thought it was a good time to post an update. For most who remember, Kingfisher Airlines was in a state of implosion a few months back and I wrote about it.  While I was sad to report that the international operations were shut down, I am glad I did not have to write a second part of the obituary about domestic operations shutting down.

Over a period I have realised that Kingfisher Airlines, for the flashy branding I had in my head, has been lucky to have a passionate set of crew who has stuck with the airlines in the bad times. I also consider them lucky to have a passionate following amongst the Indian flyers who swear by the brand and choose to stick with it through thick and thin (like guest poster Arun). Also, good sense seems to have prevailed with Kingfisher Airlines and they have somehow managed to operate a truncated schedule for the past 3 months now, which has been consistently stable. They call this the ‘holding pattern’.

At this point of time, Kingfisher Airlines seems to be in cruise control mode. Infact, I flew my mom on the DEL-BOM and BOM-DEL segments over the past week or so, and she reported that the service quality was pretty consistent. Although she was on morning flights both ways, a full breakfast was served on board, and the only missing ingredients on her in-flight service trays were the preservatives (Jams/Table Butter) ;). She was also offered lounge access at Mumbai since she was booked on my KingClub miles on this particular segment.

However, not everything seems to be going well for them. Their past is clearly dragging them down. Once India’s second largest airline behind Jet Airways/JetLite, it is now in the 6th place (out of 6 domestic operators!). Losses for the financial year 2011-12 (April’11 to March’12) are massive at about INR 2,400 Crores (about $440 million) and the route network services only some key stations these days. The market value of the company is lesser than $100 million at this point of time. The networth of the company already eroded last year.

Given the circumstances, I am hoping the white knight foreign investor who Vijay Mallya claims to have lined up will still be around when it is possible for them to infuse money in Indian airlines. But for the time being, it is back to being an on-time and reliable airline for sure. So, for the die-hard Kingfisher Airlines fans, keep flying!

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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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  1. Indians always want a bargain plus frills. Exactly why KFA is unviable. Indians won’t pay premium fares as most people are used to being subsidized!

  2. I’m one of the loyalists as well, thanks mainly to the am ex card partnership. Flying next week to their flagship sector on it101. Let’s see how the flight experience is. Will maybe chat up some of the staff and see how things are.

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