After posting a record loss of Rs. 753.55 cr for the September quarter of the current fiscal, Kingfisher Airlines has decided to convert itself into a ‘not for profit’ Section 25 company. Under the new legal, structure, KFA will still continue flight operations, but will pursue it as a charitable endeavor, unencumbered by the pesky need to eke out profits.
KFA chairman, Vijay Mallya, has appealed to industrial houses to now finance his airlines’ ever widening losses as an ongoing CSR initiative. “Look, I had a long hard chat with the management and we came to the conclusion that we should stop pretending to run this as a commercial venture. It was getting painful being bugged by our vendors and lenders to pay up,” chimed the King of Good Times.
Under the new legal structure, the ailing airlines’ liabilities amounting to $2.5 billion, of which $1.1 billion, is in the form of bank debt, will be converted into grants to be drawn down over time in pursuit of social objectives. SBI, the largest lender to the cash strapped airline, has welcomed the move. “Gosh, now that Mallya has recast his business as a philanthropic venture, we don’t feel as bad about seeing our debt evaporate. If anything, it underscores our credentials of being bankers to the poor,” said SBI chairman, Pradip Chaudhuri.
Mallya also appealed to KFA employees to volunteer for work out of a sense of altruism rather than professionalism. “Think of yourselves as missionaries on a noble mission of giving a good time to those you serve, and your inhibitions about working for KFA without pay will melt away,” counseled Mallya.