Vijay Mallya is again talking of recapitalising Kingfisher Airline, and guess where the funds would come from: certainly not his personal assets or other businesses, but banks.
According to a report in the Times of India that quotes sources, he has told the aviation ministry that the airline will meet finance ministry officials to ask banks to provide more financial support, if FDI in Indian airlines is not forthcoming in the next two weeks.
If this is intended to be a blackmail of sorts, it holds no water as no international airline will be willing to be a partner to the deep troubles of Kingfisher.
Moreover, there are no chances of the FDI policy getting cleared in the near future.
And even if he approaches banks to get funding, it has to be seen how many of them will be ready to lend to the airline which has a debt of Rs 7,500 crore from state-run banks. It has to be remembered that Mallya’s earlier claims of nearing funding deals have fallen flat.
“Will recapitalise the airline, FDI or not FDI,” Vijay Mallya has been quoted as saying in the report, promising to give details at the “appropriate time”.
The recapitalisation promise comes at a time when the staff of the airline is on strike, threatening to cripple its operations again.
The report also gives details of his turnaround plan.
Just how much all these claims will turn into reality is something to be watched.
For now, it would be better if he gets some money to pay off his employees’ salaries, because their comfort level is important for passenger safety.
With the aviation ministry not planning a euthanasia for the sick airline, safety is solely the management’s responsibility.