Kingfisher to stow away passengers in overhead cabins to cut losses, other radical measures
Mallya mulls measures to bring back the good times
Kingfisher management today unveiled a slew of measures to restore creditors’ confidence and secure a vital banking overdraft to fund working capital needs. The strategic road map, dubbed ‘how to restore good times’, was presented by Vijay Mallya to a bevy of stuffy bankers including the SBI chairman. The salient features of this innovative plan to keep bad times at an arm’s length include:
- Serving Kingfisher beer on grounded flights: Even if the Kingfisher flight fails to take off due to insufficient fuel, passengers can still attain ‘a pleasant high’ by downing pints of complimentary Kingfisher Beer, served by personable Kingfisher air hostesses. “Sounds like a win-win proposition. A passenger can either make a boring flight journey to conclude some notional transactions that ultimately may or may not give him any kick. Or alternatively, he can help himself to some good booze on a grounded flight and go back home far happier,” noted Raghib Ahmed, a PWC consultant who closely tracks the aviation sector.
- Pay as you go scheme: This is an ingenious solution to streamline operations and restore profitability. A Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson explained the scheme as follows: “We analyzed our problems in-depth and found that basically we don’t have money to pay for fuel, which prompted us to launch this promo. Passengers on Bangalore-Mumbai flights, for example, will be offered options on-board to pay for fuel either ‘all the way to Mumbai’ or to buy a half ticket and get air dropped into Tiruppati.”
- Stowing passengers in overhead compartments: Now passengers can stow themselves into overhead compartments to fly at the fraction of the cost of a normal ticket. While not as comfortable as a normal seat, at least such passengers can avoid the ignominy of being instructed by air-hostesses to fasten their seat belts. “Bloody genius man, even Deccan Airways, the progenitor of Kingfisher, was not as cheap,” said Captain Gopinath, the original pioneer of the low cost airline model.
SBI chairman, Pratip Chandoke, is impressed but has demanded that the flamboyant industrialist also put up Deepika Padukone as collateral before his bank extends any further credit to the cash strapped airlines. “She’s the kind of figure we would like to have on our balance sheet,” grimly noted the veteran banker.
(Contributed by special correspondent, Laughing Gas, with additional reporting by @GandhitoNehru)
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