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Kingfisher Airlines asks govt for financial help: Report

"The cash-strapped airline will require help to pay creditors to avoid grounding aircraft," Mallya is said to have written in his letter to Singh, the Financial Express said.

BT Online Bureau | January 11, 2012 | Updated 09:13 IST

Billionaire Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines is reported to have told Aviation Minister Ajit Singh that it will not be able to maintain normal operations without a temporary bank overdraft.

"The cash-strapped airline will require help to pay creditors to avoid grounding aircraft," Mallya is said to have written in his letter to Singh, the Financial Express said.

"Our lessors have gone to court in London against non-payment of lease rentals. If we don't clear dues, our aircraft will be grounded," Mallya was reported as writing.

Singh had said last week that the government will not cancel licences of cash-strapped carriers on safety concerns, adding that the ministry would provide help to the sector.

Kingfisher was forced to cancel hundreds of flights late last year and ground aircraft to conserve cash, and has been negotiating with banks for a further cushion to ease its debt burden and to raise working capital.

- With inputs from agencies

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