Kingfisher Airlines: Diverting the media’s attention away from things that matter

For the last week or so we are overloaded with the media’s fascination about the financial troubles at Kingfisher Airlines and its flamboyant Chairman Dr. Vijay Mallya, and his less than flamboyant, and far less street smart son Sidhartha.

Like the famous wild dogs of Africa, which hunts in packs, the media had descended en mass on the sorrowful suicide of the wife of a Kingfisher engineer.

For two days we heard and we read only about the suicide. Then we heard that the banks in a “humanitarian” act, had lent another Rs. 60 Crore to Kingfisher to pay salaries, given proof to the theory, sorrow does sometimes cause a loss of rational thinking.

With a monthly salary bill of Rs. 20 Crore, Rs. 60 Crore will pay about three of the seven months of overdue salary to Kingfisher employees. Instead, Kingfisher said it can only pay one and a half months. So what was the carrier going to do with the balance Rs. 30 Crore? Pour it down the veritable Kingfisher black hole? No story has come out in any of the major print or electronic media questioning this hocus-pocus.

Instead of chasing the money, credit should be given to the Kingfisher strategists. They have successfully, and cleverly, diverted the media’s attention an e-mail from airline CEO Sanjay Aggarwal to the airline’s employees with the same “come back to work” content with no mention of salaries, and to the fact that Kingfisher was selling tickets in violation of a DGCA diktat.

The airline strategy team surely have a job reserved at a magic show a’la Houdini or PC Sorcar.

I would like to ask a question of these bankers.

When you know Kingfishers less than stellar financial management techniques, why not ask the airline for a salary statement and give the salary directly to the employees?

Isn’t this a sort of reverse wage garnishing? A common practice for banks and creditors to recover their dues? and this method will allow for the humanitarian act to truly reach its intended beneficiaries, instead of being spent on more bikini clad babes.

And to my dear and esteemed friends in the media, I recount the sage advice given by “Deep Throat” to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein; “Follow the money”.

As usual, your thoughts, dear readers, are requested, via a comment.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

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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