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India to give away Kingfisher slots, flying rights to others
February 25, 2013 / 1:32 PM / 5 years ago

India to give away Kingfisher slots, flying rights to others

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The government said it will give away Kingfisher Airlines’(KING.NS) slots and foreign flying rights to other operators in the latest blow to the grounded carrier.

Kingfisher Airlines customers wait in a check-in queue at Mumbai's domestic airport March 20, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

Kingfisher, controlled by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, has been halted due to a cash crunch, and lenders are trying to recover $1.4 billion of loans in default.

Kingfisher, which saw its flying license expire at the end of last year, has two years from then to apply for a renewal. But with lenders, airports, and banks looking to recover their dues, and with its slots going to rivals, a comeback could prove extremely difficult for the airline, once India’s no.2 carrier.

    The civil aviation ministry said in a statement it will make the slots and flying permits available to other airlines.

    Kingfisher, whose planes have been idle since October, flew to Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand , United Kingdom, UAE among eight others.

    Indian carriers will now have an additional 25,000 seats available each week to fly to these countries, the statement said.

    Kingfisher posted a 7.55-billion-rupee loss in the three months to December 31 as its planes sat idle, and regulators rebuffed its revival plans.

    Reporting by Anurag Kotoky and C.K Nayak; Editing by Louise Heavens

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