We need to find ways to get Kingfisher out of trouble: PM

Nov 13, 2011, 09:22 IST | Correspondent
While speaking to reporters on board Air India One, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he will talk to Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi once he is back in the country from the Maldives, where he is attending the SAARC summit, regarding Kingfisher owner Vijay Mallya's request.

Mallya on Saturday morning reportedly requested Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Ravi to help his carrier acquire funds through banks at low interest rates, besides other concessions in line with Air India.

However, Kingfisher Chief Executive Sanjay Aggarwal claimed the carrier had not made any bailout request to the government.

Thousands of passengers were inconvenienced after the private airline went on a cancellation spree for the fifth day, citing high fuel costs and fierce price wars between airlines.

On Saturday, Mallya tweeted, "Is it Kingfisher's duty to fly on loss making routes, when state governments tax heavily? Or should we be financially prudent and fly profitably."

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation has forecast a record $2.5-$3 billion loss for airlines in India for the year ending March 2012, with state-run Air India alone likely to account for more than half of it.

BJP spokesperson and former aviation minister Shahnawaz Hussain said bailouts should be available for the aam aadmi and Kingfisher's crisis is based on internal mismanagement.

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