Will not close down Kingfisher airlines, says Vijay Mallya

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Vijay Mallya
Mumbai, Feb 21: Vijay Mallya, airline baron, Kingfisher airlines, talking on the crisis that the cash strapped airline is currently undergoing, said that the airlines will not close down.

"Closing down is not an option. It will not happen. The government does not want it to happen. It is not in national interest," said Mallya.

"Why should we give up as long as we get help. Help is not bailout. We have asked banks to consider our proposal to provide more working capital," he said, making it clear that the airline has never asked for a bailout from the government.

He further said that the whole issue around bailout was of "media making". [UPDATE: Check new revised flight schedules of Kingfisher Airlines]

"The abrupt disruption was unfortunate because our bank accounts were suddenly frozen by tax authorities. I don't deny we have taxes due. .... The bottomline is we requested for time to pay these dues," said Mallya on the fact that the bank accounts of the airlines were frozen suddenly by the Income tax department due to the non-payment of tax dues.

"It was the very sudden attachment of our accounts that obviously crippled us," he said.

"We have to make payments everyday. Payments are to be made for spare parts, to customs, fuel dues, airport dues. So the ability to operate the bank account is critical," said Mallya

"Once we are choked, we obviously have problems. I tried to resolve and negotiate with the tax authorities and tried to agree on a payment plan, which is comfortable for both. Our accounts should be de-frozen so that we can continue normal operations. We have money in the accounts and money is flowing in," Mallya said.

On being asked on why aviation regulator DGCA was not informed before hand, he said, "If your bank account is frozen suddenly, obviously you don't have advance notice by which to notify DGCA. It is self-explanatory.”

"With the accounts frozen, the problem started then and there. We didn't have time to notify anyone. It was only subsequently that we notified the DGCA. We conveyed to DGCA defining the circumstances we were having to suffer," he said.

Kingfisher airlines, which is currently under a huge debt trap suffered a loss of Rs 1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a debt of Rs 7,057.08 crore.

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