A CHECK by TTG Asia e-Daily on Kingfisher Airlines' inventory offered via the various GDSs has indicated that the beleaguered airline is progressively suspending all bookings on international routes.
Starting with Mumbai-Hong Kong on March 12, the suspension will involve all international services by March 25. Delhi-London (Heathrow) flights will be suspended on April 10. Overseas destinations affected include Bangkok, Colombo, Dhaka, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, London (Heathrow) and Singapore.
A check on the Kingfisher website confirms the route cull as the latest flight schedule shows flights only up till March 25. So far, the airline has not provided instructions on recourse for passengers already booked beyond this date.
In a statement released on March 14, Kingfisher’s vice president – corporate communications Prakash Mirpuri said: “We would like to confirm that we are curtailing our wide body overseas operations that are bleeding heavily. To this end, we have already returned one Airbus A330-200 to the lessor in the UK.”
Debt-laden Kingfisher is seemingly banking on an equity sale to a foreign carrier to lift its prospects. Mirpuri said at the close of his statement: “The (Indian) government's final verdict on removing the restriction on investment by a foreign airline...is awaited. We can confirm that there is interest from prospectives on this basis.”
Current regulations restrict foreign ownership of an Indian airline to a 49-per cent stake.