New Delhi: Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, who is being investigated for fraud and money-laundering, said his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines too could have been bailed out by lenders, similar to what happened with cash-strapped Jet Airways on Monday. He blamed banks for letting “India’s finest airline” close its operations seven years ago.
“Happy to see that PSU Banks have bailed out Jet Airways saving jobs, connectivity and enterprise. Only wish the same was done for Kingfisher,” he tweeted.
Vijay Mallya, 62, is wanted in India for defaulting on Rs. 9,000 crore in loans to his failed Kingfisher Airlines. Bogged down by a massive financial concern, the full-cost airline closed operations in 2012.
He urged Indian banks to “take his money” and save Jet Airways. “And I repeat once again that I have placed liquid assets before the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court to pay off the PSU Banks and all other creditors. Why do the Banks not take my money. It will help them to save Jet Airways if nothing else (sic),” he tweeted.
Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal on Monday resigned from the board of the airline they founded 25 years ago, clearing the way for an immediate bailout of Rs. 1,500 crore by lenders. The exits came days after reports that the government has asked state-run banks to bail out Jet Airways for the moment to prevent the airline going bankrupt.
Vijay Mallya had offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount he owes banks in India, saying: “Please take the money”. He had also said if his offer was accepted, Kingfisher employees should be paid first.
Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines and others availed huge loans from various banks. He left India in March 2016 after banks got together to initiate legal proceedings to recover an outstanding of more than 9,000 crores. India formally asked for his extradition in February last year. He is currently living near London.