American held for carrying gun at airport, Jet to cancel Boeing 777 order, Vijay Mallya’s debt troubles

US national arrested for carrying loaded handgun on board a flight

The Times of India is reporting A US citizen was arrested earlier this morning at the Chennai airport for carrying a loaded revolver. Central Industrial and Security Force (CISF) personnel who secure airports across India, found the weapon while scanning the baggage of Mr. Semilar, 58 years old, when he was about to board a Mumbai-bound flight. Read the full story here.

What was this guy thinking ?

Jet Airways in negotiation with Boeing to cancel its one remaining 777-300ER order

The Business Standard citing the Press Trust of India is reporting that Jet Airways is negotiating with aircraft manufacturer Boeing to cancel its one remaining 777-300ER on order. The aircraft order estimated to be worth Rs 725 crore ($145 million), is scheduled for delivery in August.

“The management is in talks with Boeing over canceling/finding another buyer for the Boeing 777 (Capex at $145 million) that was due for delivery in August 2009,” brokerage firm IDFC-SSKI said in a report on Jet Airways after a management interaction.

Through much of the last year, Jet Airways has been busy leasing out its Boeing 777-300ER fleet to Turkish Airlines THY and Gulf Air. However, recently Gulf Air decided not to proceed with its four aircraft wet-lease beyond the initial six months. These returned aircraft too will add cost burdens to Jet.

Read the full story here.

Dr. Vijay Mallya’s debt troubles mounting courtesy Kingfisher Airlines, White and Mackay

Forbes India has written an excellent article about the mounting debt crises for Dr. Vijay Mallya.

Mallya has been leading a double life. He has spent the past few months negotiating for the survival of his empire. His debts have zoomed. So have his losses. The economic slowdown has made his daring bets of the boom period look like risky gambles. He must stem the losses, or even the healthier parts of his business will fall prey.

Mallya has accumulated about Rs. 14,000 crore [$2.8 billion] worth of debt spread across his liquor and airline businesses through costly acquisitions of global liquor companies like Whyte and Mackay and a bleeding balance sheet courtesy Kingfisher Airlines.

At the core of this battle is Kingfisher Airlines, losing cash at an alarming rate in the middle of the decade’s biggest fall in passenger turnout. The debt on the airline’s books is over Rs. 5,000 crore, much of it guaranteed by United Breweries Holding Ltd., the group’s holding entity. As the airline’s monthly losses have crossed Rs. 200 crore, Mallya has no option but to push for more corporate guarantees from his other companies. Already, UB Holding is seeking shareholder approval for doubling the limit of its corporate guarantees to Rs. 12,000 crore.

However, I fully agree with the article’s conclusion – Dr. Mallya is a seasoned and passionate corporate warrior. It is a matter of time before he pulls off deals and recovers. The stemming of losses at Kingfisher is another story for another time.

Read the article here.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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