New Delhi: Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines would have to wait some more time for relief as its lenders continued deliberations on Sunday towards resolving the crisis, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the government would explore ways to help the private carrier.
   
The cash-strapped airline cancelled 40 more flights on Sunday taking the total number of cancelled services to over 250 flights in one week putting thousands of passengers to inconvenience.
   
Bankers of Kingfisher, who met in Mumbai on Saturday, are holding more rounds of talks on its debt restructuring. Kingfisher is looking for additional working capital to tide over its severe cash crunch.
   
Kingfisher has approached lender-banks for a reappraisal of working capital requirements following a surge in price of jet fuel in recent months.
   
Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi has ruled out any bailout package for the airlines but said efforts would be made to help the ailing aviation industry.
   
Asked whether Government had decided on allowing FDI by foreign airlines in India, Ravi told reporters "it is not a matter to be decided in a day. The proposal may come and then it will be considered". Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya is making a strong pitch for allowing foreign airlines to pick up stakes in Indian carriers.
   
Ravi, who is leaving for Bahrain on a three-day visit from Monday, said he hasn't yet met the Prime Minister on problems faced by Kingfisher and the aviation industry.
   
In a tweet, Mallya said foreign governments go "out of the way" to support airlines.

Opposition parties like the BJP and CPI(M) have also opposed any government bailout for the private airline.
   
The Prime Minister, while returning from the Maldives, told reporters "we will explore ways and means in which the airlines can be helped".
   
At the same time, he said private airlines should be managed efficiently, "but if they do get into difficulties, we have to find ways and means to help them get out of the process."
           
Meanwhile, industry sources said the 13-bank consortium, led by State Bank of India that has lent to Kingfisher, are not yet ready to provide a bailout package for the debt-ridden company.
   
After the first round of meeting on Saturday, the banks have asked the airline promoters to put more equity into the venture and disclose additional financial details to them.
   
A core bankers' committee has also been set up to vet the additional financial details to be provided by the airline management over the next few days, the sources said.
   
The bank representatives would meet their respective managements to take a call on the future course of action, the sources said.
   
Besides SBI, the consortium includes ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, UCO Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and State Bank of Mysore.
   
Together, these banks now hold a 23.4 per cent stake in the airlines and have an exposure of over Rs 7,700 crore.    

ICICI Chief Chanda Kochhar said her bank's exposure in the troubled airline was very less and there were no overdues.
   
The airline has suffered a loss of Rs 1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a mounting debt of Rs 7057.08 crore.

Those who die, must die: Bajaj
    
Top industrialist Rahul Bajaj on Sunday strongly opposed any bailout attempt by the government for the debt-ridden private sector entity Kingfisher Airlines, saying "those who die, must die" in a free economy.
    
"I am a proud private sector man and I don't see any logic of bailing out any private sector company, either for sake of employees, or customers," the Bajaj group patriarch said at the Indian summit of World Economic Forum here.
    
"If Bajaj auto gets into a mess, would you bail me out? If it's a free market economy, those who die must die," Bajaj said at the summit.
    
His comments came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that steps would have to be taken to help private sector entities if they get into difficulties.
    
"Private sector airlines have to be managed efficiently. But if they do get into difficulties, we have to find ways and means to help them to get out of the process," Singh had said.
         
While opposing any government bailout, Bajaj, however, expressed his displeasure over the high taxes hurting airline sector.

Lenders to meet Kingfisher management: SBI


Bankers to the financially-hit Kingfisher Airlines have not yet taken a decision on restructuring its debt, while SBI on Sunday said that the lenders will meet early next week to take stock of the situation.
    
"On Tuesday, SBI and other lenders are meeting with the Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) management in Mumbai. Bankers want more information on their (KFA's) fleet, equity, continuation of fuel supply...Banks can come in as lenders not promoter. We will respond how it unfolds," said Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman of SBI, which leads the 13-bank consortium that has lent to Kingfisher.
    
He, however, supported KFA Chairman Vijay Mallya's view on allowing foreign direct investment in the aviation sector.     

"Unless another airline joins in, we don't see much of value being added to KFA... They (KFA) have said that they are waiting for government to relax norms on aviation policy. There is clear indication that KFA wants to induct foreign airline as equity partner," Chaudhuri told reporters on the sidelines of an Assocham event here.
    
He said lenders have asked KFA to bring Rs 800 crore as the equity, of which the company said that Rs 400 crore has already been arranged.
    
On being asked whether that was a pre-condition before the debt restructuring, he said, "We want to see that money (Rs 400 crore) coming in. That has to be simultaneous."
    
Kingfisher is looking for additional working capital to tide over its severe cash crunch. It approached lender-banks for a reappraisal of working capital requirements following a surge in price of fuel in recent months.
    
After the first round of meeting on Saturday, the banks have asked the airline promoters to put more equity into the venture and disclose additional financial details to them.

JPN/Agencies