India's grounded and debt-laden Kingfisher Airlines, which has been desperately seeking investment from foreign carriers, said Monday it plans to resume operations in a "phased manner".
The airline, owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, has not flown since it suspended operations in October when it was hit by a crippling strike by employees over non-payment of salaries.
The carrier has had its licence suspended by the Indian regulator until it comes up with a "viable" revival plan and is facing eviction from Mumbai airport for non-payment of parking and navigation charges.
"We will restart in a phased manner and will provide funding ourselves," said airline spokesman Prakash Mirpuri, who did not specify a time frame.
The company has also come up with "a full recapitalisation plan which will be further discussed with a small designated group of bankers", Mirpuri told AFP in an emailed statement. "We have not asked the banks for any support."
A senior executive of state-run State Bank of India, Shyamal Acharya, said Mallya was ready to inject 4.25 billion rupees ($78-million) of his own money into the airline to get it flying again, the Press Trust of India reported.
The airline's lenders have set up a six-member core group, including State Bank of India, to keep track of Kingfisher's revival plans, Acharya said.
Kingfisher said last week it was in talks with "with various investors, including (Abu Dhabi-based) Etihad Airways, for equity investments in the company".
But Indian aviation analysts expressed doubt whether Etihad would be interested in Bangalore-based Kingfisher given its debt load estimated at $2.5 billion by the consultancy firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).
Mallya has been scouting for an overseas carrier to save the airline from collapse since the government in September allowed foreign airlines to purchase up to 49 percent in domestic carriers.