While Mallya shoulders plenty of blame for Kingfisher's crisis, a harsh regulatory environment and taxes that make jet fuel more expensive than just about anywhere else also hurt.
The demise of Kingfisher would benefit rivals such as top-two carriers Jet Airways and IndiGo, and fares have indeed risen since Kingfisher started grounding its planes.
However, India's aviation market dynamics will remain brutal in the absence of major policy changes and as long as New Delhi subsidises even bigger losses at state-owned Air India.
Kingfisher's banks, owed $1.3 billion, would be left to pick over the carcass in a country that does not have a formal bankruptcy process.
Loans are secured in part by a combination of guarantees by the airline's parent, the UB group, as well as Kingfisher shares, Mallya's personal guarantees, Mumbai real estate assets and the Kingfisher brand itself, bankers said.
Image: Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya seen speaking on a mobile phone during a meeting with the debt-laden airline's pilots in New Delhi.