INDIA: Kingfisher looking for investor, new routes

Kingfisher Airlines, the country’s second largest carrier by passengers flown, has said it has received offers from several overseas airlines interested in buying a stake. Kingfisher wants an investor as slowing demand and cutthroat competition slashes margins in the Indian aviation market. The company has asked the government to allow overseas carriers to own a […]


Kingfisher Airlines, the country’s second largest carrier by passengers flown, has said it has received offers from several overseas airlines interested in buying a stake. Kingfisher wants an investor as slowing demand and cutthroat competition slashes margins in the Indian aviation market. The company has asked the government to allow overseas carriers to own a 25 per cent stake in domestic airlines.

“This will be an enormous wealth creator and secure the future of Indian aviation,” chairman Vijay Mallya told Bloomberg. “I have received several expressions of interest from foreign airlines,” said Mallya.

According to the Economic Times, Kingfisher is talking to three airlines about a 25 per cent stake, suggesting British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. A Singapore Airlines spokesman denied it is in talks with Kingfisher about buying a stake.

Meanwhile, Kingfisher said it will launch flights from Mumbai to London (daily), Singapore and Hong Kong, and from Chennai and Bangalore to Sri Lanka in January, ending a freeze on new international operations.

In October, after forming an alliance with bigger rival Jet Airways, Kingfisher requested permission from India’s civil aviation ministry to start flying on other international routes using three Airbus A330-200s that it had grounded. Two other A330-200s have been deployed on the Bangalore-London route. Under aviation ministry rules, if an airline does not run an international service for which it is granted rights within the immediate season, it is barred from that route for two years.