India strips ailing Kingfisher of foreign flying rights

India's aviation ministry has withdrawn international flying rights and domestic slots from debt-laden Kingfisher Airlines, making more seats available for rival carriers. 

The move follows an announcement by Kingfisher's creditor banks earlier this month that they would start recalling loans. 

It is a step which analysts then said could spell the end for the carrier controlled by liquor baron Vijay Mallya. 

Kingfisher's slots across India and routes to countries such as Nepal, Singapore and Britain are seen as being of potential interest to a foreign buyer which could save the carrier from bankruptcy. 

A year ago, the airline was India's second largest by passengers. 

But now it is teetering on the edge of oblivion, owing an estimated total of $2.5 billion to banks, suppliers, staff and other creditors. 

A spokesman for Bangalore-based Kingfisher declined to comment on the government's announcement.