Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh today said that mere payment of salaries will not be enough for debt-ridden carrier Kingfisher Airlines to restart operations.
"The airline needs at least Rs 1,000 crore for restarting operations," he said.
The airline has already obtained no-objection certificates (NOCs) from oil companies, aircraft lessors and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) units to restart operations; and has placed before the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). However, it has not received no-objection certificates from any of the airport operators, including the Airports Authority of India.
Grounded since October 1, Kingfisher needs approval from the regulator for renewal of its operating licence, which expired at the end of 2012. The regulator had first rejected the airline's revival plans citing lack of funding details. According to sources, the plan did not include any details on the payment of dues to airports and may not guarantee a reliable service.
Promoter Vijay Mallya had then filed another plan committing an investment of Rs 650 crore from the UB Group. However, the DGCA shot down the plan, saying it was not enough to restart operations.
Meanwhile, in a letter written to the employees, Mr Mallya said that the grounded carrier is aiming for a limited restart using seven aircraft.
The airline is also reportedly in talks with multiple investors to secure a deal for the carrier, he said.
Launched in May 2005 with great fanfare, Kingfisher is estimated to owe $2.5 billion in debt to banks, staff, vendors and others and is scrabbling to find new investors.
Four aircraft of the airline have been de-registered, and there are petitions for de-registering two more planes.
With inputs from agencies