SBI says KFA lenders to meet in 15 days; Mallya meets staff

Mumbai: With the revival plan of grounded Kingfisher Airlines getting nowhere, its lead lender State Bank on Saturday said the creditors will meet in a fortnight to decide the future course of action to secure their money even as the airline chairman Vijay Mallya met employees to reassure them of the plan.
"Bankers are going to meet within 15 days. Consensus (on liquidation or whatever action that bankers take) can emerge only when the company comes up with a credible plan," said Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman of State Bank of India having an exposure of Rs 1,600 crore not serviced since last January, to the troubled company.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram where he launched an infra debt fund from being run by IL&FS here this evening.
Earlier in the day, Mallya met a group of pilots and engineers amidst their threat to file a winding up petition and is understood to have told them that he was trying to get bankers and the regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on board to restart the carrier.
However, Mallya did not give them any commitment on the payment of salary dues pending since May last, saying he is trying hard to get the airline off the ground.
This was Mallya's first meeting with his employees since the grounding of the carrier. So far, the employees' unrest and issues were being handled by CEO Sanjay Aggarwal.
According to sources, Mallya said he was making efforts to obtain no-objection certificates from DGCA and the 17 bankers.
He is also understood to have also expressed hopes of a possible restart of the airline within this quarter.
"They (KFA) made a presentation last time but we did not find that adequate," Chaudhuri said.