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Government can't bail out Kingfisher Airlines, says Ajit Singh

New Delhi , Wed, 22 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Wednesday said the government cannot bailout private airlines like beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines.


"The government is not going to bailout, but we hope Kingfisher can mobilize resources and survive," Singh told media here.


He further said that that passenger safety issue would not be compromised at any cost.


On reports in the media that the State Bank of India (SBI) is lending over Rs 1600 crores to Kingfisher Airlines, Singh said: "We have said it before that banks will decide on it. If they are satisfied with the business plan, then they can lend the money."


Singh was speaking to media after a meeting with officials of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) here.


The DGCA on Tuesday gave the Kingfisher Airlines time till today to come up with a revised and a clear schedule for the aircraft that it is still operating.


Expressing deep concern over Kingfisher Airlines" flight disruptions, DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan said the airline is currently operating 28 of its 64 planes.


"The regulator also has ordered a special safety surveillance on Kingfisher, he said, added that there were no problems or worries about aircraft safety.


Kingfisher, controlled by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, has cancelled 32 out of the 240 flights that it operates each day.


Banks own about a quarter of cash-strapped Kingfisher, which has so far been unable to attract fresh equity amid growing worries about its future.


Kingfisher, named after the country's most famous beer, lost 4.4 billion rupees in the fiscal third quarter that ended in December.


It owes over Rs. 7000 crores to an 18 bank consortium led by State Bank of India (SBI) (ANI)


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