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We will take-off, Mallya tells staff to stay on board

Special Correspondent
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In light of a section of employees threatening legal action, Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya has appealed to his staff, telling them that he was planning a limited restart with seven aircraft. “I appeal to each one of you. We need to focus on being back in the air,” Mr. Mallya wrote in a letter to employees after a section of engineers in Delhi recently gave an ultimatum to the management.

Apart from pending salary dues since the month of June, the employees were unhappy as the management had kept them in the dark about the airline’s restart plans. Mr. Mallya said that in four months, the plan was to fly 21 aircraft and would later expand the fleet to 57 aircraft within 12 months of re-capitalisation.

“We have submitted a detailed restart plan to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which is in two parts. Both plans contain detailed information on key assumptions and funding requirements including payment of outstanding salaries to employees,” Mr. Mallya said. “The limited re-start plan which we target for the beginning of the 2013 summer schedule requires funding of approximately Rs. 650 crore, which is committed to be provided by the UB Group and associates,” he added.

Though Mr. Mallya made a reference to overdues, he did not mention anything as to when he would pay his staff. He said the management was in the process of submitting additional data and no-objection letters from key vendors as required by the DGCA. “There has been no discussion at all on recall of loans, enforcement of securities and the like as reported in the media. On the contrary, the banks have expressed their keen desire to see Kingfisher fly again,” he said.

After Mr. Mallya’s letter, Kingfisher stock surged and closed with a gain of 9.96 per cent at Rs.14.79 on the BSE.

‘Will start with seven aircraft and then expand to 57 within a year of

re-capitalisation’


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