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India’s Kingfisher Airlines loses another $382m

Grounded private carrier struggling to win back permit to fly

Gulf News

Mumbai: India’s grounded Kingfisher Airlines, owned by billionaire liquor baron Vijay Mallya, said Friday it lost another $382 million (Dh1.4 billion) in the first quarter of the year.

The private carrier is struggling to win back its permit to fly after a deadline to renew its suspended licence expired in January.

The company posted a net loss of 21.42 billion rupees ($382 million) in the three months to March, compared with a 11.52 billion rupee loss a year earlier.

It has never made a profit since it started operations in 2005 and owes millions of dollars to banks, airports, fuel suppliers and its staff.

“The company did not have any operations during the quarter,” Kingfisher confirmed in its statement.

Kingfisher lost permission to fly after it failed to present a viable recovery plan to the aviation regulator.

Most of the carrier’s 4,000-odd employees have not been paid since July 2012, which led to a strike by its pilots and engineers in October.

Kingfisher was the worst-hit of India’s airlines in 2012, with the industry plagued by high jet fuel prices, fierce competition, price wars and shabby airport infrastructure.

Mallya is desperate to find an outside investor to help get the airline running again.