"We (the lenders and Kingfisher Airlines) will meet here on Wednesday," SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri told reporters here on the sidelines of a banking event.
As many as 17 banks, led by SBI, have exposure of over Rs 7,000 crore in advances to the carrier, which has not been servicing its debt since January and not paying salaries from March, forcing its pilots and engineers to strike work several times in the past five months.
Apart from this huge debt, the private airline also has an accumulated loss of over Rs 8,000 crore. Since its launch in May 2005, the carrier has not made profit.
The meeting assumes significance in the wake of last week's report by the industry analyst Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), which cast doubts on the continuation of operations of the airline if it is unable to infuse at $600 million immediately.
"Kingfisher faces the prospect of an operational shutdown, possibly temporarily, to allow it to restructure and re-organise. A viable turnaround is unrealistic without a significant recapitalisation of the airline," Capa said. According to the agency, restructuring of the airline will require the banks to take a significant hit as they have a huge exposure to the ailing carrier.
Meanwhile, the airline's headcount fell 22 per cent. The debt-ridden firm saw its headcount fall by over 1,600 people or 22 per cent in the last fiscal and the carrier is planning further measures for optimising its "human resources utilisation".
The airline had a total of 5,696 employees for the year ended March 31, 2012, down from 7,317 employees in the previous year, Kingfisher said in its annual report for 2011-12 released on Monday.
Costs towards employee remuneration fell by one per cent to Rs 669.5 crore during the year ended March 31, 2012, even as the pay package of its CEO Sanjay Agarwal rose sharply by about 90 per cent from Rs 2.12 crore to Rs 4.01 crore. Besides, Agarwal is entitled "to free use of company car and telephone", the company said, while adding that the remuneration of Rs 4.01 crore in 2011-12 excludes accrued leave encashment and gratuity.
No payments were made to Chairman Vijay Mallya, while non-executive directors were paid sitting fees for board and committee meetings attended by them. In the previous year 2010-11, Mallya was paid 'guarantee and security commission' of about Rs 51 crore,, but the airline made a "write back" of Rs 14.03 crore in 2011-12 regarding such commission paid to the Chairman. The airline said that the payment of such commission, earlier accrued as payable in books of account to guarantors for issuing guarantees at the request of the company to lenders, has been withdrawn after directions from a consortium of its lenders, as per RBI's guidelines.