Dec.6 (SportBusiness) Vijay Mallya is the self-proclaimed ‘king of dreams’ but part of his alcohol to airlines empire is turning into a nightmare for the F1 and IPL sponsor.
Kingfisher Airlines has been increasingly cash-strapped in recent months with rumours circulating that flights were cancelled due to unpaid fuel bills and employee income tax deductions unremited (all denied). Mallya has though, accepted the need for a cash injection and repeatedly said he was on the verge of agreeing terms with a big new investor.
Now the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation has audited safety at the company and found “serious shortcomings” in its maintenance standards. Bharat Bhushan, DGCA Head has been reported as saying: “they need to pull their socks up or risk being grounded.”
Kingfisher has struggled amid rising fuel prices, cut-throat competition and a rapidly slowing market and this latest intervention only adds to its woes.
Fortunately, Mallya’s other businesses are much less prone to a downturn which, coupled with his personal profile and ambition is likely to see him active in sport, sponsorship and showbiz for the foreseeable future.