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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Kingfisher Airlines aiming for an IPO in 2006

Kingfisher Airlines is aiming for an IPO of its shares in 2006 to raise funds to finance the purchase of its aircrafts.

The airline, a wholly owned subsidiary of the liquor behemoth United Breweries, said it would seek to open new routes in the months ahead to compete effectively with other budget and full-service carriers.

Kingfisher Airlines would also float an employee stock option plan as part of its IPO exercise.

"I have not thought about the size of the IPO as yet because all the employees of Kingfisher Airlines are being given stock options, and after that , we can decide. First of all, the UB Board has to decide on dilution. After that, we can tell you the size of the IPO," said Dr. Vijay Mallaya, UB Group Chairman.

Jet Airways, a leading private aviation major, made a successful stock market debut this year. India's first low-cost airline Deccan Air is also firming up plans to float public shares.

Replying to the question of whether Kingfisher Airlines will acquire Sahara Airlines, Mallaya said "I have no discussion about taking over any airline in India and certainly not Sahara. There have been speculations, but I have had no conversations at all."

On Kingfisher Airlines' route expansion plans, Mallya said it would launch a flight from Mumbai to Goa from August 11. The service will be offered twice daily. The airline will also start operating five daily flights on the busy Mumbai - Delhi route by end August.

Kingfisher Airlines currently offers services in the Mumbai-Bangalore and the Delhi-Bangalore sectors.

It presently owns two Airbus-320 planes. The airline plans to expand its fleet to 10 - eight Airbus 320s and two Airbus 319s

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