Bhubaneswar: Kingfisher Airlines needs to invest at least Rs 2,000 crore to restart its operations, said one of its lenders, State Bank of India's Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri. SBI is the lead banker in the 17-lender consortium that extended Rs 7,000 crore loans to the now grounded Kingfisher Airlines.
The state-run bank has an exposure of Rs 1,500 crore to the carrier. The debt has not been serviced since January, 2012.
Chaudhuri also said SBI is not contemplating any legal action against the carrier as the door for negotiations is still open. "In order to restart operations, Kingfisher Airlines needs to infuse at least Rs 2,000 crore as capital. We are still holding talks with the company and following up also," Chaudhuri added.
Chaudhuri said talks with the grounded airline were being held every week. If necessary, some buildings and non-core assets might be disposed, he revealed.
Kingfisher is saddled with mounting losses and debts. It has been grounded since October 1, 2012, following strike by pilots over non-payment of salaries. The airline's licence has also been temporarily suspended and the Director General of Civil Aviation has told the airline that it will be restored only when it submits a revival plan. As per the revival plan submitted to DGCA in 2012, Kingfisher had said it would require about Rs 652 crore over the next 12 months for running its operations.