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Mallya headhunting to revive Kingfisher

Vijay Mallya is setting the house in order at Kingfisher Airlines.The liquor and aviation baron, after maintaining a low profile during the downturn, has undertaken a string of measures for the revival of Kingfisher, reports Lalatendu Mishra.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2010 22:04 IST
Lalatendu Mishra

Vijay Mallya is setting the house in order at Kingfisher Airlines.

The liquor and aviation baron, after maintaining a low profile during the downturn, has undertaken a string of measures for the revival of Kingfisher.

Mallya has strengthened Kingfisher’s leadership team by handpicking Amit Agarwal, a former managing director, revenue management, at Delta Airlines, to head corporate development and planning at Kingfisher. Agarwal, formerly with Continental and American Airways joins Mallya’s A team.

Another senior hand, Manoj Chako returned to Kingfisher as senior vice-president, commercial, after a brief stint with the American Express. Chacko, who was with the airline since its inception, was earlier head of global sales and distribution. He quit in 2007 to join American Express as head of business travel for India and Indian subcontinent. Kingfisher also plans to hire junior executives to expand operations.

Mallya recently appointed aviation advisers Seabury for restructuring the operations of Kingfisher Airlines.

The airline also announced on Tuesday that it will join the global airline group “oneworld”, enabling it to offer passengers more choice of routes.

The airline has recently forayed into the cargo business by launching Kingfisher Xpress. It is also planning a code-sharing agreement with British Airways, and is looking at inducting new aircraft. Mallya is pursuing various fund-raising options and talking with oil companies and the Airports Authority of India to reschedule payment dues.

Mallya was not available for comment. Kapil Kaul, CEO, South Asia, CAPA said, “Last five months’ performance has given Mallya lot of confidence. He is enhancing people capital, cutting cost structure and enhancing revenue. It is a strategic thing to do when the market is going to be bigger.”