Kingfisher awaiting new rules for foreign bailout: Mallya

Kingfisher Airlines is in talks with two foreign carriers about a potential rescue package that could be announced within days, the airline's chairman, Vijay Mallya, said in an interview with London's The Times newspaper.

Mallya, the liquor baron who controls 58 per cent of Kingfisher, said that he had secured provisional approval from the government for a change in the law that would ease restrictions on foreign ownership of Indian airlines.

He reiterated this in a note to employees, saying two foreign airlines are ready to invest in KFA as soon as a change in the law was announced. The change would allow overseas airlines to own up to 49 per cent of an Indian carrier.

Mallya said the foreign airlines, which he did not name, were ready to invest in Kingfisher as soon as a change in the law was announced. But one of them is probably Abu Dhabhi's flagship carrier Eithad Airways, which has discussed providing equity in return for a minority stake.

Another airline said to be involved in the talks is International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways and Iberia, according to an unnamed financial source cited by the newspaper.

The parties involved could not be reached for immediate comment.

Meanwhile, Mallya told employees in the note that 'paid media' is responsible for the downfall of the company, but he is trying his best to revive the airline.

He told employees to have patience and also assured them that he has organised funds to pay employees' pending salaries.