Kingfisher started its operations in the year 2005, this was the time when I just started working and flying was a dream for me [Read this post].
KF was the premium airline, and I used to yearn to fly by KF [company sponsored flight travels :p] As per our Company policy, one was supposed to inform the preferred time of journey to the travel team and depending on that the cheapest flight was booked. I used to check out the KF flight timings and ensure that there was no other cheaper flight around and inform that to our travel people :)
It was the only airline then in India, which used to offer in-flight entertainment, in-flight phone service, on-screen demo[ by Yana Gupta] etc. With all that glamor it was the most sought out airline, atleast for free riders like me :P. It was well known for its air-hostesses draped in the red-colored tight dresses..making them hotter..
KF boasts of being awarded the best airline in Asia Pacific and blah blah..etc. From that heights of success it nosedived and crash landed...becoming almost extinct
..all that happened in a span of 7 years...
The ticket counters are closed at all airports and the online bookings are suspended [ Chek Website ]
There's a JOKE doing the rounds on the internet which goes like this "Kingfisher birds are evaluating the possibility of a class-action suit against flamboyant Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, for spoiling their name and reputation"
So what exactly went wrong with KF??
.... In no particular order
Airline is still not a necessity for most..atleast KF was positioned as a luxury service. Lowering cost was the only strategy for individuals and corporates during the trying times, which lead to lower demand for KF.
2) High fuel costs, a Weaker rupee and Fierce competition and all glamour translated to huge losses
Airline as such is never a profit making business anywhere in the world..only a handful number of airlines are profitable ex: Indigo. With the high costs and lower revenus [ losing most to competition and lower demand] lead to huge losses..
3) 7000 Cr Loans :O
Liabilities more than the assets. Most of the lenders were leasing companies, oil companies, banks etc which are all now waiting for there share in the left out assets..
The Stock trend of KF shows the turbulence faced by it
4) Non-payment of its tax arrears - accounts frozen
It's again a criminal offence
5) Poor International Operation
May be a too greedy venture for KF
6) Cheque bounce - GVK moves to court
This was the last thing someone would want, when things were already going bad
7) Safety concerns - further lowering the demand
8) Non payment of salaries,Employees on strike
This was bound to happen..a lot of companies in infrastructure space do this
9) Suicide of unpaid staff's spouse
This is a sad thing to happen, adding to the woes
Now the thing which irks the most to employees, lenders, shareholders, general public, aliens etc is the below..
Despite all that our man still enjoys a high flying life..:)
Check out this website of all Mallaya's collections..
To all those who are jealous of his flamboyant life..even during such turbulent times of kingfisher..his reply goes like this
“I have learnt the hard way that in India wealth should not be displayed. (It is) Better to be a multi-billionaire politician dressed in Khadi,” [Link]
- Lately he realised this, else could have avoided all that damage done.
"Thanks to the Almighty that Forbes has removed me from the so called Billionaires list. Less jealousy, less frenzy and wrongful attacks" [Link]
- When there is no choice left...that is how you should take it and be content :)
Rather pray to almighty for a miracle ..so that kingfisher rises up like a phoenix..
Kingfisher bird might be extinct on air but is eternal on booze...in all sizes (By the way for the records ...am a teetotaler)