- It was an upstart airline owned by a liquor baron, who tried to be India’s Richard Branson
- It bought low-cost carrier Deccan Air to jump the line to get a license to fly internationally
- It declared plans to be the first Indian carrier to buy the A380
- It declared plans to fly from Bangalore to San Francisco
- It became the 1st airline from India to join an Alliance (OneWorld). This is on hold for now.
Lately, they have been in the headlines for different reasons – all related to their financial woes.
- They owe over $1 Billion in debt
- They had over $1.9 Billion in losses since 2005
- They have not been able to pay for fuel to fly or their pilots and staff
- There is an arrest warrant out for the owner, Vijay Mallya, for bouncing a check!
- The India Aviation authorities are threatening to cancel their license to fly
- And now, they have suspended all flights till Oct. 20th!
Unless the government of India allows a foreign investor to step in and rescue them (FDI or foreign direct investment, not allowed by Indian law in the aviation sector), buying up a share at a bargain, it is curtains for the airline.
I have flown them a couple of times – domestically in India and they were an excellent airline. They had excellent staff and product. They had also gotten some good International routes. I hope they get the investment partner they need to survive.
What do you think? Should they survive? Leave a comment below if you have any experiences with Kingfisher.