New Delhi, Nov 12: Troubled Kingfisher airlines' efforts to resolve its crisis got a boost with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying tonight that Government will explore “ways and means” to help the private carrier.
Singh's remarks came on a day when the airline owner Vijay Mallya questioned whether it was the private carrier's “duty” to fly on loss-making routes.
The cash-strapped airline cancelled 60 flights today taking the total number of cancellations to 210 since Monday causing inconvenience to hundreds of passengers.
“I have not applied my mind to Kingfisher's problems.
When I get back, I will talk to (Civil Aviation Minister) Vayalar Ravi and we will explore ways and means in which the airlines can be helped,” he told journalists on board his special flight while returning from Maldives when asked about the Kingfisher crisis sparked by continuing debt fears.
Singh at the same time said that private sector airlines should be managed efficiently.
“But if they do get into difficulties, we have to find ways and means to help them get out of the process,” he added.
Mallya while blaming the system of airlines in the country being overtaxed and overcharged also said governments abroad have “gone out of the way” to support air carriers and connectivity.
Ravi earlier in the day said no bailout package is pending before the Government.
“This is to clarify that no such bailout package is pending before the Government nor has been proposed by Ministry of Civil Aviation for the Kingfisher Airlines,” Ravi said in a statement.
On the other hand, Mallya, who had earlier this week sought government help, tweeted: “Every government has gone out of the way to support airlines and connectivity. In India airlines are overtaxed and overcharged. Wonder why?” In another tweet, he posed: “Is it Kingfisher's duty 2 fly on loss making routes when state governments tax heavily?
Or should v be financially prudent n fly profitably”.