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Air India shifts HQ-Kingfisher to pay dues

Mumbai,Feb 15 () : Air India will in the coming year sell its land in Coimbatore and Chennai along with properties in Mumbai and New Delhi to raise Rs 1000 crore. In a first move it shifted its headquarters from Mumbai to New Delhi after it leased out four floors to SBI.

Air India building in Nariman Point was an iconic building. It was built in 1970 and all its directors of various departments as well as the Chairman and MD are housed here. Air India’s Chairman office will be housed in the Mumbai building while other heads will shift to erstwhile Indian Airlines building in Delhi. The revenue from rent and savings in travel by AI officials to Delhi for work will add up to Air India revenue.

United Group owners of grounded Kingfisher to avert a loan recall told lenders to the carrier that money got from stake sale to Diageo Plc. The banks had decided that time was running out and $1.4 billion loans would be recovered. British drinks manufacturer Diageo agreed to pay $2.1 billion for 53% stake in UB.

Grounded since October 2012, Kingfisher owes around $2.8 billion to the lenders, lessors of aircrafts, airports and oil companies. The airlines has 34 aircrafts from the 64 it started with. In November 2011, the airlines lost 11 aircrafts in total. The other planes could not be taken back since they have been certified non-serviceable. Once the aircrafts are serviceable and certified airworthy, the lessors will take them away.

In December 2011, Kingfisher started defaulting on loans and started cutting down flights. This was the first signal that the airlines was sinking. Seeing this the banks instead of restructuring the loans should have started selling off stocks including that of UB pledged as collateral. Instead,they went for infusing more funds. ICICI was clever enough to offload the shares and get back the money while others are left staring at losses.