In the India of old, the politically powerful Mallya might have been able to twist some arms to get creditors, which are mostly state banks, to keep his airline aloft.
In the current climate that kind of bailout looks impossible.
Nevertheless, with the consortium of largely state banks dithering, a mixture of foreign investment, a haircut for creditors and an equity infusion from Mallya could in theory save Kingfisher.
If the business was then able to cut costs and get some tax breaks on aviation fuel, as the government has hinted, there's actually no reason why it should not be a long-term success.
India's aviation industry has grown at 16 percent every year in passenger traffic terms over the past decade and air travel penetration in India remains among the lowest in the world.
Image: Mallya with his Kingfisher girls in happier times.