We will ride out the storm, says Kingfisher's Mallya

Vijay Mallya, chairman of Kingfisher AirlinesVijay Mallya, chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, today sought to rebut widespread media reports that his ailing airline has sought a Western-style bailout from the Indian government.

At a press conference in Mumbai today, he said he merely wants lenders like State Bank of India to help the airline with Rs700-800 crore of working capital as a short-term need with interest concessions.

"We have not asked for any bailout from government. We have not asked the government to dip into the taxpayers' money. We have never done it, we will never do it," he said.

Mallya said he had neither sought restructuring of loans nor had the airline's lenders asked it to infuse capital through equity, as reported in sections of the media. "If there is requirement of recapitalisation or infusion of additional equity, we will consider it," he said.

Addressing a press conference after announcing the second quarter results, which showed a loss of Rs468.66 crore, he said, "We are in a dialogue with banks to open letters of credit, which can help us recover debt and repay our high cost rupee loans.

"We have not asked for a concession. We have not asked for a hair-cut. Our demands with the banks are mainly two-fold - one is to meet short-term capital needs which have gone up, 'style b' (consessional) interest."