A threat by a section of employees to move court to seek a formal closure of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) has had an instant impact with chairman Vijay Mallya writing to them and outlining his plans to restart limited operations and strike an investment deal.
Following this, the airline's shares jumped 9.9% at Rs 14.8 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Kingfisher has not operated a single flight since October 1 and its flying licence expired on December 31.
Mallya said the airline had submitted a detailed restart plan to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the first part of which involves a limited restart utilising seven aircraft ramping up to 21 aircraft in four months. "The second part is a full-scale rehabilitation of our airline growing to 57 aircraft within 12 months of recapitalisation," Mallya wrote.
Mallya said he was in discussion with multiple investors. "I remain confident that we will secure a deal," he said.
Employees, whom HT spoke to, said they were disappointed with Mallya's letter as it made no mention of when and how he would clear their salary dues of eight months.
"The limited restart plan, which we target for the beginning of the 2013 summer schedule requires funding of approximately Rs 650 crore, which is committed to be provided by the UB Group and associates," Mallya's letter said.
He also reiterated that Kingfisher was "on safe ground" to renew its flying licence with the regulator, which can be applied for within two years after the date of expiry.
Banks, he said, have expressed their keen desire to see Kingfisher fly again. "They have requested our urgent attention to certain over dues which we are addressing with them."