Billionaire Mallya’s Warrant Withdrawn as Kingfisher Pays Dues
Vijay Mallya, the billionaire chairman of Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. (KAIR), had a court warrant against him withdrawn after the carrier settled dues with the operator of Hyderabad airport.
GMR Infrastructure Ltd. (GMRI) withdrew the lawsuit after Kingfisher made the payments, Arun Bhagat, a GMR spokesman, said by phone today. A court in Hyderabad in South India last week issued warrants against Mallya and four other executives after they failed to appear in a hearing about the carrier’s checks not being honored. Kingfisher had issued checks totaling 105 million rupees ($2 million) to the airport operator.
Kingfisher, which suspended operations through Oct. 20 amid a strike by employees, has struggled to pay bills and wages after posting five straight years of losses. India’s aviation regulator yesterday withheld approval for the airline’s winter flight schedule amid the service disruptions.
Kingfisher fell 4.4 percent to 12 rupees at 11:20 a.m. in Mumbai. The stock has dropped 49 percent in the past year.
Prakash Mirpuri, a spokesman at Kingfisher, didn’t immediately respond to a call and a text message seeking comments on the lawsuit.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has asked the carrier why its permit shouldn’t be canceled or suspended following the shutdown. Kingfisher halted operations on Oct. 1, when engineers and pilots walked out, demanding that seven months of unpaid salaries be settled.
The airline defaulted on loans and interest payments on several occasions in the year ended March 31, the company’s auditor said in the airline’s annual report. The carrier had total debts of 86 billion rupees as of March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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