(Adds source comments, shares)
NEW DELHI Jan 22 Kingfisher Airlines
needs at least 10 billion rupees ($185.65 million) to restart
its grounded operations and must also demonstrate an ability to
sustain itself for at least 6 months, India's civil aviation
minister said on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, a senior government source said India
was willing to support a rescue plan from Kingfisher if it could
settle months of salary due to frustrated employees, sending the
airline's shares up as much as 9 percent.
The comments came after Kingfisher Chief Executive Sanjay
Aggarwal met officials at the ministry of civil aviation to
discuss the plan, which was earlier rejected by the regulatory
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said all stakeholders,
including banks, airports and oil companies, will have to give
no-objection certificates for the carrier to fly again.
Kingfisher has already received no-objection certificates
from oil companies and some aircraft leasing companies to
restart operations, a senior regulatory source said last week.
The airline, which is estimated to owe $2.5 billion in debt
to banks, staff, vendors and others, has submitted a $119
million revival plan to the regulators.
An official at the DGCA said earlier this month that the
plan would not be sufficient to rescue the airline.
Kingfisher shares, which hit a lifetime low of 7.05 rupees
last August, closed up 7 percent at 14.45 rupees on the National
($1 = 53.8650 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky; editing by Jason Neely)