Gopinath says keen to buy back budget carrier

MUMBAI Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:38pm IST

Vijay Mallya (R) and G. R. Gopinath, are seen in Mumbai in this June 1, 2007 file photo. Kingfisher Airlines Ltd Vice Chairman G.R. Gopinath said on Wednesday he is interested in buying back the budget airline of Kingfisher if Chairman Vijay Mallya exits the low-cost carrier model. REUTERS/Stringer

Vijay Mallya (R) and G. R. Gopinath, are seen in Mumbai in this June 1, 2007 file photo. Kingfisher Airlines Ltd Vice Chairman G.R. Gopinath said on Wednesday he is interested in buying back the budget airline of Kingfisher if Chairman Vijay Mallya exits the low-cost carrier model.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Kingfisher Airlines Ltd Vice Chairman G.R. Gopinath said on Wednesday he is interested in buying back the budget airline of Kingfisher if Chairman Vijay Mallya exits the low-cost carrier model.

On Monday, Kingfisher and top private carrier Jet Airways agreed on a cost-saving alliance involving code-sharing, sharing of ticketing, ground services and joint fuel management.

But Gopinath, who was the founder of budget airline Air Deccan, told news channel NDTV Profit the code-sharing alliance between Kingfisher and Jet Airways would create a monopoly, hurting the interests of the industry as a whole.

"A long-term monopoly is not good for the country, not good for the consumer, neither is it good for the airline industry itself," he told the channel, adding he would continue to be against any such monopoly.

Gopinath said he would want to buy back Air Deccan, which was rechristened Kingfisher Red following the merger of Kingfisher with Deccan Aviation Ltd, which ran Air Deccan.

"If both Vijay Mallya and Naresh Goyal ...want to exit the low-cost model because they think it is embarrasing for them, then let me buy it back," he told the news channel.

"It can't be a hostile takeover since Vijay Mallya owns more than 60 percent stake, but if he wants to exit the space then it (Air Deccan) should be spun off into a separate entity. Even he (Mallya) will get the money that he needs," Gopinath said.

Though he did not have finances for the purchase at the moment, Gopinath said he was confident many investors would be interested in backing him in the effort.

"Even when I started Air Deccan, I did not have any money, still people put money in my airline," he added.

Gopinath, a pioneer of the low-cost carrier model in India, said the budget carrier model was sustainable, adding that occupancy rates had gone down due to repeated fare hikes.

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS EXCLUSIVE

Reuters Showcase

Documents' Leak

Documents' Leak

India widens oil leaks probe to defence ministry  Full Article 

Jim O’Neill Interview

Jim O’Neill Interview

'India can become world’s fifth-largest economy by decade’s end'  Full Article 

Food Security

Food Security

India will not cut multi-billion dollar food handout programme - PM  Full Article 

Ola's Expansion Drive

Ola's Expansion Drive

Taxi group Ola steps up expansion drive  Full Article 

Bharti-China Mobile

Bharti-China Mobile

Bharti Airtel, China Mobile to collaborate on 4G  Full Article 

Suzlon Energy

Suzlon Energy

Suzlon expects to turn profitable in fiscal 2016: chairman   Full Article 

Eicher Motors Stake

Eicher Motors Stake

Volvo selling up to $300 mln worth of Eicher shares  Full Article 

Tough Task

Tough Task

India needs sustained GDP growth of 9-10 percent - Jaitley.  Full Article 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Budget announcements and reactions from the industry  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage