Once Kingfisher flew high with its tagline “Fly the Goodtime', but today there were no takers for it even when kept at less than one-tenth the price at which it was pledged with as a collateral for the loan. Once hailed as the King of good times, Vijay Mallaya now cuts a chastened figure. He suffered a devastating financial blow in 2012 with the collapse of his once-popular, but never profitable, Kingfisher Airlines and has not recovered since then.
The company owes at least Rs 7,000 crore to 17 banks; some of them such as the State Bank of India and Punjab National bank have already named Mallya and his company as a “wilful defaulter”. Recently, the 17-bank conglomerate got together to recover money owed them from liquor baron Vijay Mallya's now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
The auction of various brands and trademarks of the now infamous Kingfisher Airlines, including its once-famous tagline 'Fly The Goodtime’ was held but bidders did not show up even when the price was set at over Rs 365 crore, which is around one tenth of the actual expected amount.
"The interest for this auction could have been from existing airline operators, but no one will come. It is better to start a new airline company than to buy this brand and revive it," a senior banker said.
Similar auction also failed last year when the auction was held at the Kingfisher Villa in Vile Parle last year, the 17,000 sq ft property was priced at a meagre Rs 150 crore. The banks were unable to find a bidder for the property.
The Kingfisher brand was collateralized to banks for a whopping Rs 4,000 crore (by Grant Thornton) in 2010. At its peak, the Kingfisher Airlines was the largest airline in the country, with a five-star rating from Skytrax, according to the airline's annual report for 2012-13.
A case of money laundering against Vijay Mallya, has been registered by the Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED), who helmed the now obsolete Kingfisher Airlines. Vijay Mallaya has fled the country on March 2 and resides in London currently; the Indian government has also requested the United Kingdom to deport the business man back to India.