Vijay Mallya’s grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) faced a further setback on Friday with the Karnataka High Court admitting a winding-up petition filed by the consortium of lenders led by State Bank of India (SBI), the airline’s biggest creditor, which is claiming dues of Rs 6,203 crore. This is the second petition seeking liquidation of the airline to have been admitted in the last two months.
On December 6, the company court of the Karnataka High Court had admitted a winding-up petition filed by Aerotron, a UK based aviation services firm, which is claiming Rs 37 crore from Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. The court has deferred the publication of newspaper advertisements relating to this petition till March 7, after the airline pleaded for time saying it was in the process of finding an investor to revive operations.
Vijay Mallya, during Kingfisher Airlines' annual general meeting in September, had said that he was in talks with a foreign investor and that a decision on this would be reached in 90 days. The eight-year-old carrier, which has been grounded since October 2012, has run up accumulated losses of Rs 16,023 crore as of March.
Earlier this week, aircraft maker Airbus said it had cancelled the orders for five A380 airplanes and five A350-800s that Kingfisher Airlines had placed sometime ago.
Kingfisher Airline’s woes have already entangled the UB Group’s holding company, United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd, in a maze of litigation. A winding-up petition against UBHL filed by the 17-bank consortium led by SBI is also pending admission.