Topic of the week: Vijay Mallya threatens to stop supporting Kingfisher Airlines

Yesterday, Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya sent out a letter to his employees, ostensibly in response to the industrial action by its employees earlier this week that led to the cancellation of more than 30 flights out of Mumbai and Delhi.

Unlike earlier letters which were much softer, this time, Dr. Mallya did not mince words. He informs employees of his efforts and commitment to re-capitalise the airline

As you may have read in the media, I have said that our Company will be re-capitalised whether the Government changes the current FDI policy or not.

If I was not confident about the future of our Airline, I would not make public statements nor arrangements to raise funds.

He is correct when he goes on to state that industrial action is destroying investor and passenger confidence, erasing existing razor thin margins.

In the letter, finally, Dr. Mallya, in effect, serves an ultimatum to Kingfisher employees

Why should I spend everyday to keep our Airline afloat if the actions of our own colleagues lead to loss of guest confidence and lower income by cancellation of flights or low load factors that result from uncertainty ?

What is the confidence that I can give to investors who I am in dialogue with ?

If some colleagues feel that I will be pressurised by flight cancellations, they are wrong. Instead, I will stop my own support as a few are effectively holding the entire Company to ransom.

He goes on to say, those employees who are unsatisfied are welcome to leave the company. Well, Dr. Mallya, those who could, already have.

Is your threat of “stopping support” for real? Will the Government of India, whose public sector banks have lent the airline thousands of crores let you walk away scot free? How will your other companies, and you, walk away from your guarantees.

Share your thoughts on the tone of this letter, and the Kingfisher Airlines in general, via the comment system below.

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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