A week after its lenders announced plans to initiate recovery proceedings against the carrier to recover their dues, debt-laden Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) paid salaries for the month of June to a section of its employees.
“Around 20% of the staff has received salary for the month of June,” an airline source said. Sources said Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwal was in Delhi on Tuesday to meet top Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officials to push forward the airline’s licence renewal case.
Kingfisher shares rose by 5% on Tuesday after its group holding company United Breweries (Holdings) said on Monday that it was hiking its loan limit for the ailing carrier from Rs.300 crore to Rs.750 crore.
UB Holdings has sought approval from its shareholders to revise the lending limit and to authorise its board of directors to take necessary actions in this regard, the company said.
However, it would be difficult for the cash-strapped carrier to resume operations anytime soon.
“Our dues are more than Rs.390 crore, inclusive of penal interests. We are asking for a firm commitment on the payment of the dues, because so far what they have committed could not be honoured,” said VP Aggarwal, chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Besides its dues to AAI and other service providers, Kingfisher has a debt of over Rs.7,000 crore to a consortium of 17 banks led by SBI.
“Though there is news that they are planning to restart operations, there has not been any concrete proposal to us for dilution of our dues,” Aggarwal said.
Asked whether the state-run airports body would settle for some “partial payment” of dues, Aggarwal said “we already had some cheques (from KFA). One cheque of Rs.117 crore could not be encashed.”