Kingfisher Airlines plans to restart operations by the beginning of the 2013 summer schedule in a limited way with seven aircraft. It plans to ramp up to 21 aircraft in four months, airline promoter Vijay Mallya told agitating employees. Globally, the summer schedule of airlines starts from March and extends till October.
In a communication to employees, Mallya said that starting with seven aircraft was the first of a two-part restart plan submitted to the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation.
“The second part is a full scale rehabilitation of our airline, growing to 57 aircraft within 12 months of recapitalisation. Both plans contain detailed information on key assumptions and funding requirements, including payment of outstanding salaries to employees,” Mallya said.
The letter adds that the limited restart plan requires Rs 650 crore “which is committed to be provided by the UB Group and associates.”
The letter comes less than 24 hours after Kingfisher employees, who have not been paid salaries for eight months, sought a detailed plan for restarting the airline. The airline suspended operations on October 1 last year, and its operating licence expired on December 31, 2012.
Mallya added that the airline was meeting the consortium of banks that had lent it money and keeping them fully informed. “They have requested our urgent attention to certain over-dues, which we are addressing with them. The banks have been very co-operative and patient. There has been no discussion at all on recall of loans, enforcement of securities. On the contrary, the banks have expressed their keen desire to see Kingfisher fly again,” the letter stated.
Mallya added that the airline had been in discussions with prospective strategic as well as financial investors for over a year.
“Investors need to be convinced about the long-term prospects of their proposed investment in Kingfisher and this takes time. Please rest assured that we are in discussion with multiple investors and remain confident that we will secure a deal,” he added.