Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya has extended solidarity with debt-ridden Jet Airways and its founder Naresh Goyal. He attacked the government once again, alleging that it was discriminating between the public sector and private airlines.
In a series of tweets, Mallya expressed his sympathy with other airlines too which have been fighting for their survival.
He tweeted: “Even though Jet was a major competitor to Kingfisher at the time I feel sorry to see such a large private airline on the brink of failure when government used (Rs) 35K crore of public funds to bail out AirIndia. Just being a PSU is no excuse for discrimination.”
Mallya also repeated his offer to “pay 100 per cent” back the money he owed to the banks. The businessman flew to the UK in March 2016 as many banks owed Rs 9,000 crore by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines closed in, on him to recover the money.
“I invested hugely into Kingfisher which rapidly grew to become India’s largest and most awarded airline. True, Kingfisher borrowed from PSU Banks as well. I have offered to pay back 100 percent but am being criminally charged instead. Airline Karma ?” Mallya posted.
In a subsequent tweet, he added: “Every time I say that I am willing to pay 100 per cent back to the PSU Banks, media say I am spooked, terrified etc of extradition from the U.K. to India. I am willing to pay either way whether I am in London or in an Indian Jail. Why don’t Banks take the money I offered first ?”
Coming back to Goyal, he wrote: “Even though we were fierce competitors, my sympathies go out to Naresh and Neeta Goyal who built Jet Airways that India should be extremely proud of. Fine Airline providing vital connectivity and class service. Sad that so many Airlines have bitten the dust in India. Why ?”
Saddled under heavy debt, Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines shut shot in October 2012.