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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Between Cupid And The Devil- Will Kingfisher Survive?
It’s all about the color RED! oops I mean KingFissured!
Red is hot and red is strong, but how on earth does one plan to cut a Rs. 6000 crore debt? We have all heard the chairman insisting that within a jiffy, his airline would be back on track? It’s taken off into one crisis after another, including with the DGCA, non payment of salaries and lots of dues besides improper erratic schedules plaguing Kingfisher. Is it all about the colour Red?
The carrier surely must not be surprised to see another exodus. It has also started defaulting salaries, I’m told by a couple for friends who work in the airline. Some say there are issues within the top management. There is barely anyone who interacts or even boosts the sagging morale of these employees. Ill timed decisions, overt flamboyance and maybe even a flawed business model, have reduced the glory in red to a wingless bird without flight soaked in the blood of its unforeseen injuries.
Now was that a Boutique airline to customers? Was the concept Yachts with wings? The precincts remained Red. Many such concepts were flying across meeting tables and accordingly being translated into action! After all maybe an ill conceived concept , that ensured that in spite of 80-90 % carriage the red airline barely made any profits.
The merger with Air Deccan also backfired, somewhere in 2008. Around Rs.550 crores were spent on Air Deccan for operations to start under the brand name Kingfisher Red! The rebranding seemed a huge flop to me. Many ill informed passengers assumed that the service would be just the one on board the boutique carriers so ably designed by Mr Mallya himself. It sure felt well when he welcomed us on board saying each one of us was his personal “guest” on board. It almost felt like our own private carrier. Was it about the word Red?
The IT department have frozen all the accounts from when I last read..oops did I say red?
Is there hope of revival? Is Rs.2000 crores from SBI down the drain? Or could that be brought back and be trained again to fly? I am also told that about 40-50%of the pilots have quit, so like the blue airways that currently Jets across the skies, would it from be trainees who land us onto the tarmac? The inimitable dad and son combo however, believe that the problems of the red air are surmountable. Importing jet fuel seems a cruel joke and FDI in carriers cannot surely be the only panacea for an ailing airline. Just recently three dozen flights all over the country were cancelled. At many airports I did see the plight of all the passengers whose entire travel plans went haywire sometimes.
The government surely would not bail the red airlines out. It is going to be one turbulent flight. The feel at home “guests” currently feel very threatened by the choppy rides. The aviation sector as a whole is reeling under lots of issues. The best option would be to cut down, revamp and work out better plans for the future. Our honorable Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Ajit Singh says he has allowed for foreign airlines to invest up to 49%in India. Passengers would only continue to grow. Mr. Singh seems very confident of conquering the skies!
The color Red always has always indicated Stop! Maybe a range of seemingly conflicting emotions of love, lust,rage, violence and warfare!
Would this time around sighting a Kingfisher in the skies be rare? Surely, hope not!
Red is the color of happiness and prosperity in China, and may be used to attract good luck….why not just this time,Cupid win the battle! Could Red mean start all over again?