Despite his bluster - Mallya boasts that he personally selects the carrier's flight attendants - Kingfisher had won plaudits for its "five-star" service and being the first Indian airline to offer video screens for every seat.
Kapil Kaul, South Asia CEO of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, said the only thing keeping Kingfisher aloft now is Mallya himself, who with his associate companies has injected roughly $200 million over the past fiscal year, he reckons.
Kingfisher could not immediately be reached to confirm that.
Others are less charitable.
"Mallya is busy in cricket and racing and beer. Where does he have the time to run an airline?" said an executive with another state bank, which faces losses on its Kingfisher loan. The executive was also not authorised to comment publicly on individual clients.
Image: Kingfisher Airlines staff arrive at Mumbai's domestic airport.