Cash-strapped and grounded Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) is set to fly again, however, in a limited way, chairman of the airline Vijay Mallya assured bankers at a meeting with lenders on Monday.
Meanwhile, a government official on Monday said the UAE-based Etihad Airlines' talks with KFA and Jet Airways are in final stages and the deal is likely to be announced next week.
“They have a plan for a limited restart and exact time and other details will depend on certain clearances,” said Shyamal Acharya, deputy managing director, State Bank of India, after the lenders meet with officials of Kingfisher Airlines. The airline did not give the timeline to restart the operation.
KFA has a total debt of R7,000 crore to the consortium of 17 banks headed by SBI.
“KFA needs R425 crore for limited restart which it would fund on its own,” said Acharya. “They are not looking forward for any money from banking system for a limited restart and will make their own arrangement,” he said.
Mallya told bankers that it is in discussions with foreign investors without giving any names. “Airline is in talks with foreign investors but he (Mallya) did not give any names,” he said.
Bankers have also decided to form a committee to evaluate the future plans of KFA. “KFA has to get necessary approvals from the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) for the limited restart of flights, at the moment its licence suspended but the airline is confident that it would not be cancelled. It is an issue it will take care of,” he said.