Vijay Mallya reveals Kingfisher revival plan to employees

New Delhi/Mumbai, Jan 10 (IANS) Kingfisher Airlines' chairman Vijay Mallya Thursday wrote to the employees, intimating them of a two-step plan submitted to the aviation regulator to re-start the cash-strapped passenger carrier.

"We have submitted a detailed restart plan to the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) which is in two parts. The first part deals with a limited re-start utilising seven aircraft ramping up to 21 aircraft in four months," Mallya wrote in his letter.

According to Mallya, the second part of the plan envisages a full scale rehabilitation of the airline by increasing the fleet size to 57 aircraft within 12 months of recapitalisation.

"Both plans contain detailed information on key assumptions and funding requirements, including payment of outstanding salaries to employees," he said.

Mallya added that the limited re-start plan is being targeted for the beginning of 2013 summer schedule and requires a funding of about Rs.650 crore, which will be provided by the UB (United Breweries) Group and associates.

Mallya's letter came a day after employees of the cash-strapped airlines decided to move court, asking for disclosure of the passenger carrier's future plans of restating operations and payment of dues, failing which they will also demand the company's formal closure.

The decision to move court was taken by members of one of the airline's unions - Kingfisher Airlines Maintenance Engineers Association, who met in New Delhi Wednesday.

According to the union's members, they have also sent their representation to the aviation regulator, the DGCA, informing it about the employees' decision to move court and to seek its intervention in the issue.

The employees have not been paid for the last many months. Some cadres of employees are still to receive dues pending for the last eight months.

Meanwhile, the airline's flying licence expired Dec 31, 2012, and a revival plan it submitted to the DGCA was rejected due to the lack of more "credible restart" details in the plan.

The airline's licence was suspended on Oct 20 following a strike thar crippled the carrier's operations.

The Mallya-promoted airline has two years to renew the licence to fly.

"We have met with the DGCA and are in the process of submitting additional data and no-objection letters from key vendors as required by them," said Mallya.

"The factual position is that the civil aviation regulations provide for a time period of up to two years to renew an airline's scheduled operating permit from the date of expiry. We are on safe ground here."

The airline has a cumulative loss of Rs.8,000 crore and a debt of over Rs.7,000 crore from a consortium of banks.

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