At the time of its launch in 2005, the UB Group-promoted Kingfisher Airlines had set out to redefine service standards in the domestic aviation industry, which was till then dominated by Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.
At the time of its launch in 2005, the UB Group-promoted Kingfisher Airlines had set out to redefine service standards in the domestic aviation industry, which was till then dominated by Indian Airlines and Jet Airways. And it did manage to make a difference, drawing praise from fliers. But the company’s financial condition steadily worsened over the years through a combination of poor business decisions and difficult operating environment.
A look at the carrier’s turbulent flight since inception.
May 9, 2005: UB Group launches Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) on the Mumbai-Delhi sector with a promise to deliver world class flying experience.
Jun 2005: Becomes the first and only Indian carrier to order the Airbus A380. Orders five A380s (cancelled subsequently), five A350-800s and five A330-200s for over $3 billion.
Nov 2005: Orders another 30 A340 aircraft on hopes of rapid growth in air travel.
Jan 2006: Adds 30 more routes in addition to the metro city routes on which it started operations.
Apr 2006: KFA’s claim to turn profitable in the first year itself proved wrong; loses Rs 377 crore on revenues of Rs 1372 crore.
Jun 2006: Despite losses, the KFA orders for five A350s at Paris Air show.
Dec 2006: Achieves 15% market share, with 30 aircraft in its fleet flying to around 40 destinations.
Apr 2007: Loses Rs 420 crore for the year on revenues of Rs 2562 crore.
Jun 2007: Buys 26% stake in Deccan for $136 million.
Oct 2007: Air Deccan rebranded as Simplifly Deccan.
Dec 2007: KFA makes open offer to acquire another 20% in Air Deccan
Jan 2008: KFA’s daily flights increases to over 400, including the newly acquired Air Deccan fleet.
Mar 2008: KFA seeks permission to fly on international routes; also rebrands Simplifly Deccan as Kingfisher Red.
Sep 2008: Flags off international operations with maiden flight to London.
Mar 2009: KFA losses climb to Rs 1608 crore, debt increases to Rs 10,000 crore. Reports abound of the company struggling to pay oil bills and airport parking charges.
Oct 2009: KFA launches seven international routes, despite slowdown in air travel globally.
Jan 2010: Kingfisher requests lenders to restructure debt so that it is able to cut interest costs and become profitable.
Apr 2010: Revenues decline, losses mount to Rs 1647 crore.
Mar 2011: Bankers agree to Kingfisher plea and restructures loans of around Rs 8,000 crore.
Jun-Aug 2011: KFA flights cancelled as oil firms refuse fuel till dues are cleared. Company sees mass exodus of pilots, runs foul of tax authorities for non-payment of service tax of Rs 100 crore.
Sep 2011: KFA grounds nearly 30 aircraft after it discontinues low cost brand Kingfisher Red.
Dec 2011: Entry into global airlines alliance Oneworld stalled because of company’s financial woes.
Feb 2012: Cancels over 50 flights in three days; pulled up by aviation regulator for cancelling flights without prior intimation to passengers.
Kingfisher Air stock price
On September 19, 2014, Kingfisher Airlines closed at Rs 2.35, down Rs 0.12, or 4.86 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 6.84 and the 52-week low was Rs 2.06.
The latest book value of the company is Rs -166.59 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company was -0.01.
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