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Kingfisher Airlines ‘For an airline, everything in India is high cost’: Mallya Kingfisher Airlines Limited is an airline group based in India. Its head office is in Andheri (East), Mumbai and Registered Office in UB City, Bangalore. Kingfisher Airlines, through its parent company United Breweries Group, has a 50% stake in low-cost carrier Kingfisher Red. The airline has been facing financial issues for many years.[5] Until December 2011, Kingfisher Airlines had the second largest share in India'
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  Kingfisher Airlines ‘ For an airline, everything in India is high cost’: Mallya   Kingfisher Airlines Limited is an airline group based inIndia.Its head office is inAndheri (East),Mumbaiand Registered Office inUB City,Bangalore.Kingfisher Airlines, through its parent companyUnited Breweries Group,has a 50% stake inlow-cost carrier Kingfisher Red.  The airline has been facing financial issues for many years. [5]  Until December 2011, Kingfisher  Airlines had the second largest share in India's domestic air travel market. However due to asevere financial crisis faced by the airline at the beginning of 2012, it has the lowest marketshare since April 2012. [6]  In May 2009, Kingfisher Airlines carried more than 1 million passengers, giving it the highestmarket share among airlines in India. [7]  Kingfisher also won theSkytraxaward for India's best airline of the year 2011.Kingfisher Airlines is also the sponsor of F1 racing outfit,Force India,whichVijay Mallyaalso owns. [8]   KINGFISHER CRISIS Ever since the airline commenced operations in 2005, it has been reporting losses. After acquiring  Air Deccan,Kingfisher suffered a loss of over 1,000 crore (US$181 million) for three consecutive years. By early 2012, the airline accumulated losses of over 7,000 crore (US$1.27 billion) with half of its fleet grounded and several members of its staff going on strike.Kingfisher's position in top Indian airlines on the basis of market share had slipped to last from 2 because of the crisis.  INDIRECT AFFECTING ELEMENTSFreezing of bank accounts by income tax department The start of the crisis was the freezing of the bank accounts of the airline by the Income TaxDepartment. [1]  Following are the year by year financial results of Kingfisher Airlines, all valuesare depicted in Indian rupee (INR) crore except EPS, which is in plain INR. [2]  Debt of 8000 crore with 18 lenders In Nov 2010, Kingfisher Airlines has completed restructuring 8,000 crore (US$1.45 billion) debt, with all 18 lenders agreeing to cut interest rates and convert part of loans to equity. [3]  Lenders have converted 650 crore (US$117.65 million) debt into preference shares which will be converted into equity when the airline lists on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange by sellingglobal depositary receipts (GDR). Shares will be converted into ordinary equity at the price atwhich the GDRs are sold to investors. Besides the 1,400 crore (US$253.4 million) debt which will be converted into preference shares, another 800 crore (US$144.8 million) debt has been converted into redeemable shares for 12 years. Airline's average interest rate is now down to 11%, helping the airline save 500 crore (US$90.5 million) crore every year on interest cost. Consortium of banks was represented by SBI CapitalMarkets.Kingfisher Airlines Ltd has informed BSE that the Board of Directors of the Company atits meeting held on November 25, 2010, has approved a Debt Recast Package (DRP) withlending banks, following a one-time relaxation in restructuring guidelines sanctioned by theReserve Bank of India. The salient features of the DRP include:  Conversion of debt of up to 1,355 crore (US$245.26 million) from lenders into share capital.  Conversion of debt of up to 648 crore (US$117.29 million) from promoters into share capital.  Reschedulement of repayment of the balance debt to lenders over 9 years with amoratorium of 2 years.  Reduction in interest rates.  Sanction of additional fund and non-fund based facilities by the lenders. Delayed salary  Kingfisher Airline has staff strength of 6,000 and spends 58 crore (US$10.5 million) on salaries a month. According to the first quarter financial results, it has 173.66 crore  (US$31.43 million) under the employees cost head, which has increased from 163.41crore (US$29.58 million) during the same quarter last year. Kingfisher Airlines delayed salaries of its employees in August 2011, [ and for four months in succession fromOctober 2011 to January 2012  In a report to DGCA on 09th Jan 12, Kingfisher had stated that it has paid past (salary) dues to 60% of its employees and that by 31st Jan 12, payment of December 2011salary for all its employees will be done . Protesting at the delays in payment,Kingfisher pilots started making in-flight announcements citing It is their sense of duty towards theguest that is making them fly despite not being paid salaries for the past two months .   Kingfisher also defaulted on paying the Tax Deducted at Source from the employee income to the tax department. Fuel Dues    HPCL:In Jul 2011, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)stopped the fuel ( ATF)supplies for about two hours to Kingfisher airlines owing to the non-payment of  dues. Situation was later resolved by Vijay Mallya meeting the CBDT Chairman tounfreeze some A/C's. [16]  In the past several years, Kingfisher airlines has had troublepaying their fuel bills.    BPCL: Bharat Petroleum Corporation in 2009 had filed a case against Kingfisher airlines for non-payment of dues. High court in an order said that the entire amount (245 crore  (US$44.35 million)) had to be paid by Nov 2010 and the airline paid it in instalments. Aircraft lease rental dues Since 2008, it has been reported that Kingfisher Airlines has been unable to pay the aircraftlease rentals on time.    GECAS:In Nov 2008, GE Commercial Aviation Services threatened to repossess 04 leased planes in lieu of default. Kingfisher Airlines initially denied that it missed thepayments. GECAS had filed a complaint with DGCA saying Kingfisher had defaulted on rentals for four   Airbus A320 aircraft,and sought repossession of the planes. In Jan 2009, The Karnataka High Court rejected petition by Kingfisher Airlines to restrain GECAS from taking any step to deregister and repossess the 04 aircraft in dispute. As a result, Kingfisher had to return the A320 aircraft to GECAS. [21]      DVB:In Jul 2010, DVB Aviation Finance Asia Ltd (a lessor from Singapore), sued Kingfisher Airlines for lease rental default. Case was filed in a UK court on Jul 16, 2010 after Kingfisher did not pay for three month lease rental for A320 aircraft it leased fromDVB Kingfisher Airlines has grounded 15 out of 66 aircraft in its fleet as it was unable to meet themaintenance and overhaul expense Income tax On 9 December 2011, MC Joshi,Chairman CBDT announced that ITis considering legal actionagainst Kingfisher for not paying tax and may go for prosecution. As on 10th Jan 2012,Kingfisher Airlines has service tax arrears of 60 crore (US$10.86 million). The Ministry of  Finance has given a concession to Kingfisher and instructed them to pay the dues by 31st Mar 2012. In Jan 2012, Kingfisher paid 20 crore (US$3.62 million) towards its dues for December  2011 and part of the arrears. Bank arrears Kingfisher Airlines had not paid some bankers (Lenders) as per the Debt Recast Package(DRP) with lending banks. Till the end of Dec 2011, the arrears were estimated to be 260 crore  (US$47.06 million) to 280 crore (US$50.68 million). Lenders hence had told Kingfisher Airlines  to clear its dues before they can release any more money sought by the Airline. RaviNedungadi, chief financial officer of  UB Group however said that the arrears were 180 crore  (US$32.58 million). [26]  If arrears were not paid in time (Dec 2011); Kingfisher Airlines wouldautomatically have been treated as NPA,(Non-performing asset). On the last working day of the third quarter of financial year 2011-2012, Kingfisher Airlines made one month interest amount tothe banks; thus saving the account from turning anon-performing asset State Bank of India (SBI) on 5th Jan 2012 declared Kingfisher Airlines a NPA(Non-performing asset). SBI is largest creditor and the leader of the consortium of banks in the DRP (DebtRecast Package) and has an exposure of 1,457.78 crore (US$263.86 million). By Feb 2012, Kingfisher has been decleared NPA by following banks .      SBI     Bank of Baroda     PNB     IDBI     Central bank     BOI     Corporation Bank In December 2011, for the second time in two months, Kingfisher's bank accounts were frozenby the Mumbai Income Tax department for non-payment of dues. Kingfisher Airlines owes 70crore (US$12.67 million) to the service tax department. Indian tax body also stated that Kingfisher Airlines is delinquent As response, Dr. Vijay Mallya called on the Chairman CBDT and offered to pay up the dues by 13 Dec 1 Kingfisher bank accounts were unfrozen on 14th Dec 11.Due non-payment, severalKingfisher's vendors had filed winding up petition with the High Court.As on Nov 2011, winding up petition of seven creditors was pending before the Bangalore High Court.In the past Lufthansa Technik & Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) had also filed winding up petition against Kingfisher Airlines IATA suspension On March 7, 2012 IATA suspended ticket sales of Kingfisher airlines citing non-payment of dues as the primary reason, and they said that sales services will only be restored once Kingfisher settles ICH (IATA Clearing House) account. IATA also immediately directed all travel agents tostop booking tickets for Kingfisher. According to preliminary reports, this would affectKingfisher's business by around 30%. Kingfisher claimed that frozen bank accounts was themain cause of being unable to pay the IATA, and the airline started making alternatearrangements for the sale of tickets. Soon it became difficult for the airline to follow the muchsmaller schedule that it earlier released as even more pilots began to go on strike. A pilot later claimed that from March 12, about 80% of the pilots would not fly as they mentioned in their letter to Vijay Mallya. The airline's plans on restating all services by April 4 did not seem too realat the moment
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