Is it over for Kingfisher?

Kingfisher airlines of India got in the news in many ways over the years:Kingfisher aircraft at ZRH

  • 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.

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