Kingfisher - Air Deccan tipped to be largest domestic airline

3 November, 2007:

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher’s investment in Air Deccan is set to make the new entity Kingfisher-Air Deccan become one of the largest domestic airlines in India, linking 69 destinations and offering over 556 flights every day with a fleet strength of 87 aircraft.

Mallya’s UB Group has already gained control of 46 per cent of Deccan Aviation after purchasing additional shares in an open offer. It had bought a 26 per cent stake in Bangalore-based Deccan in May 2007. The buyout will help Kingfisher Airline snip operational and maintenance costs as the two carriers use planes made by Airbus and Avions de Transport Regional.

Meanwhile, reports said that Accenture will advise United Breweries (UB) on its aviation businesses, which includes Kingfisher Airlines Ltd and Deccan Aviation Ltd. Accenture is expected to submit its report in six weeks, based on which Mallya would take further steps.

UB Holdings is expected to raise Rs 6 billion through sale of shares or securities linked to stocks. It will also issue Rs 7.2 billion of warrants to the company's promoters. This money is expected to be used to repay debt and expand the new airline entity.

Mallya, who started Kingfisher Airlines in 2005 with a pledge to offer a world-class airline with a change in flying pleasure, is now experiencing what it is like to be the king of good times as his airline dreams are soaring high. During the past 29 months, Kingfisher Airline has reached a level were it is seen as as one of the best airlines in the country.

Now with a sizeable investment in Air Deccan, Kingfisher-Air Deccan is likely to emerge as one of the largest domestic airlines in India. According to Mallya, Kingfisher has bought 46 per cent of Deccan Aviation and is close to owning a majority 51 per cent stake soon. The airline has also roped in Bollywood star Deepika Padukone as the new face of Kingfisher Airlines





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