Kingfisher Airlines Q1 losses double

Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines on Saturday said quarterly losses more than doubled from a year earlier, fuelling fresh doubts about the future of the private Indian carrier.

Net loss widened to 6.60 billion rupees ($120 million) in the financial quarter to June from a loss of 2.63 billion rupees in the same period last year, as revenues slumped due to reduced operations.

"The company has suffered substantial losses and its net worth has been eroded," the airline said in its earnings statement.

But Kingfisher -- which has never posted a profit since its launch in 2005 -- said it still hoped to "get recapitalised" and added it was "in discussion with several strategic and financial investors to bring in fresh capital".

The company, which is carrying a $1.4 billion debtload, did not identify the potential investors.

The airline blamed the latest loss on "high fuel costs, high interest rates, depreciation of the rupee and expenses due to the return of aircraft to lessors".

Revenues fell by one-fifth to 3.01 billion rupees for the April to June period.

The airline, owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, owes millions of dollars in taxes as well as money to suppliers, lenders, partners and staff.

The company needs an immediate infusion of at least $500 million to keep flying, according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, a regional consultancy.

Kingfisher's shares have steadily lost ground and hit a record low of 7.27 rupees on Friday ahead of its earnings results as investors bailed out fearing a large loss.

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