(Adds quote, details, background)
NEW DELHI Dec 26 Grounded Indian carrier
Kingfisher Airlines has failed to present regulators
with a clear funding plan under a proposal to get it flying
again, the country's aviation minister said on Wednesday.
The airline, owned by liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya and
suspended in October over unpaid debts and salaries, submitted a
plan on Monday to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation
(DGCA) to resume a limited service.
According to local media reports, Kingfisher's parent
company, UB Group, offered to inject 6.5 billion rupees ($118.3
million) into the carrier - a key condition for getting it
But Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters on Wednesday
that UB "did not say they are going to give anything" to
Kingfisher, which has estimated debts of $2.5 billion.
He did not specify if the proposal, to resume operations
with five planes, had been rejected. But he noted that the
airline owed money to banks, staff, airports, and tax
All those stakeholders needed to be convinced the relaunch
plan was viable before the DGCA allowed the airline to fly
again, Singh said.
Kingfisher, which has been trying unsuccessfully to raise
fresh cash for more than a year, is hoping to tap Etihad Airways
as an investor.
The Gulf carrier, which is seeking to widen operations in
India and other Asian markets, is in the final stages of talks
to buy part of either Kingfisher or Indian rival Jet Airways
, an Indian government official said last week.
Last month, Diageo Plc bought a majority stake in
United Spirits, also a UB Group company, for $2.1
billion. UB did not specify if part of that money would be
injected into Kingfisher.
Kingfisher shares erased intraday gains of as much as 3.8
percent on Wednesday to end flat on the day.
($1 = 54.9650 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky; Editing by Rafael Nam, John