Vijay Mallya surprises Kingfisher Airlines staff, pays salaries even as CEO meets DGCA

Feb 20 2013, 16:34 IST
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Kingfisher has not been paying salary to its employees since May last year. (AP) Kingfisher has not been paying salary to its employees since May last year. (AP)
SummaryKingfisher has not been paying salary to its employees since May last year.

A week after its lenders decided to recover their dues, cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines has started paying salaries to its employees apart from approaching the aviation regulator seeking licence renewal, sources said today.

"Some of us have received salary dues. Those in the lowest package as well as some engineers and pilots have also a month's salary dues," sources told PTI.

The airline has not been paying salary to its employees since May last year, while it had started delaying salaries much before the crisis broke out last October.

The sources also said airline Chief Executive Sanjay Agarwal is in the capital to meet the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to make a fresh request to resume operations.

However, both the developments could not be officially confirmed.

Earlier in the day, Kingfisher shares rose as much as 5 per cent on the BSE, the maximum permissible limit on a day, after one of its promoters, United Breweries Holdings, hiked its loan limit for the ailing carrier to Rs 750 crore from Rs 300 crore.

UB Holdings has sought approval from its shareholders to revise the lending limit for Kingfisher and to authorise its board of directors to take necessary actions in this regard, the company had said yesterday.

Reacting to the development, shares of the company touched an intra-day high of Rs 10.53 on the BSE, higher by 5 per cent from its previous closing price at 1230 hours.

"To accommodate further lending to Kingfisher if required, it is proposed to realign these limits further by increasing the lending limit to KFA from Rs 300 crore to Rs 750 crore and reducing the investment limit from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 750 crore, thus maintaining the overall limit of Rs 1,500 crore..," UB Holdings said in a shareholders' notice.

The revision was done to facilitate the conversion of loans given to Kingfisher into convertible/no-convertible securities, as required by the debt recast agreement between the airline and a consortium of its lenders.

It can also be noted that last Tuesday, the lenders to the airline, which number as many as 17 banks which together had extended Rs 7,000 crore to the company, had resolved to recall their loans to the airline, which had been grounded since October one last, saying more than enough time was given to the management to revive the crippled airline.

The lenders consortium leader State Bank, which has an outstanding dud loan of over Rs 1,700 crore, had

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