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From sky to ground: a case of kingfisher airline survival

Author: 
Alpana Srivastava
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The Indian economy is passing from the tough phase, leading to turmoils in various sectors and affecting them with negative shocks. One such effected industry with the present economic turmoil in India is Aviation Industry. India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, yet its airlines are deep in the red. All major carriers except Indigo are loss making and are burdened with massive debts.Rising fuel cost, heavy slide in rupee, low FDI, high interest rates are few factors affecting this sector adversely. Among the various existing Aitlines in India Kingfisher is affected most as its operations were suspended. This case study is taken to explore the various economic, financial and technical flaws responsible to the sudden rise and fall of this airline (2005-2012).Kingfisher Airlines was established in 2003. It is owned by the Bengaluru based United Breweries Group. The airline started commercial operations in 9 May 2005 with a fleet of four new Airbus A320-200s operating a flight from Mumbai to Delhi. It started its international operations on 3 September 2008 by connecting Bengaluru with London. Kingfisher Airlines Limited was an airline group based in India. Its head office is in Andheri (East), Mumbai and Registered Office in UB City, Bangalore. Kingfisher Airlines, through its parent company United Breweries Group, has a 50% stake in low-cost carrier Kingfisher Red. The airline had been facing financial issues for many years and the reason cited is the merger of Air Deccan airlines and ill-timely expansion that included ordering A380s (subsequently deferred). Until December 2011, Kingfisher Airlines had the second largest share in India's domestic air travel market. However due to a severe financial crisis faced by the airline at the beginning of 2012, it has the lowest market share since April 2012. The airline had shut down its operations when on 20 October2012 the DGCA suspended its flying license. This suspension had been due to failure to give an effective response to the show cause notice issued by DGCA. On 25 October 2012, the employees agreed to return to work. In February 2013 the Indian government announced the withdrawal of both domestic and international flight entitlements allocated to the airline.Kingfisher life cycle span was short term business cycle witnessing various peaks and undersides. On 15 November 2011 the airline released poor financial results, indicating that it was "drowning in high-interest debt and losing money". Now this study is propose to critically analyses the factors leading to the downfall of this airlines and the glimpse of its various phases of bailout plans

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