‘Consolidation is still the preferred option in current uncertain aviation climate’

FARNBOROUGH: Amid reports that he was interested in picking up equity in no-frill carrier Spicejet, Kingfisher Airlines Chairman and CEO Vijya Mallya said he had made an offer for the same.

Incidentally statement comes a day after WL Ross, a global private equity investor, announced an investment of $80 million (Rs. 345 crore) in the low-cost carrier. Mr. Mallya said SpiceJet had countered his offer by demanding a price that he was not prepared to meet. He said SpiceJet needed cash and was looking into seeking alternative investment.

Consolidation is still the preferred option in the current uncertain aviation climate, said Mr. Mallya. Mr. Mallya said Kingfisher had obtained landing and parking slots at London’s Heathrow airport and planned to launch direct flights from Mumbai and Bangalore between August 31 and September 3.

The airline would go slow on its hectic aircraft acquisition plan for domestic aircraft. Kingfisher has about seven billion dollars (about Rs 28,000 crore) worth of new aircraft on the way. One key route that Kingfisher wants to focus on is Bangalore-San Francisco non-stop, which, Mr. Mallya said, would link the Silicon Valley and the Silicon plateau. “U.S. services will start latest by September or October as one can’t keep the planes sitting on the ground.” — PTI