Crew has taken off to a fantastic start at the box office, recording the highest-ever first-day collection for a female-centric Hindi film. The charisma of Tabu, the persona of Kareena, and the charm of Kriti have taken over the entire nation. To make the film even more entertaining, the makers have also mirrored some real-life events in it. As the movie showcases a few real-world happenings, audiences might be wondering if Kohinoor Airlines, the carrier where the three leads work, is also based on a real airline. Here is all you need to know about the same.

Crew: The Real Story Behind Kohinoor Airlines

Kohinoor Airlines is at the center of the storyline of the film Crew. As the airline grapples with losses and unofficially goes bankrupt, Geeta, Jasmine, and Divya have to stoop to desperate measures to earn a living. In reality, Kohinoor Airlines is based on the infamous Kingfisher Airlines, which ceased operations in 2012 after declaring bankruptcy.

Established in 2003, Kingfisher Airlines, owned by Vijay Mallya’s Bengaluru-based United Breweries Group, commenced commercial operations in May 2005. Starting with four Airbus A320-200s, it launched flights from Mumbai to Delhi, reportedly as a gift for Vijay Mallya’s son’s 18th birthday. International operations began in September 2008, connecting Bengaluru with London. 

Kohinoor Airlines Real

The airline initially impressed the aviation world with its luxurious offerings and impeccable service. Praised for its luxurious experience, the airline rapidly expanded its fleet and network, gaining international recognition with its distinctive red branding. Despite plans for expansion, including an IPO to raise $200 million, the airline struggled with mounting debt and annual losses.

Tthe airline’s glory was short-lived, as it faced a myriad of challenges, including soaring operational expenses, intense competition, and economic downturns. Despite efforts to secure additional funding and restructure debts, Kingfisher Airlines found itself grappling with financial burdens. 

By December 2011, the company owed Rs. 700 million to the tax department. By the beginning of the subsequent year, the airline had accumulated a total loss of ₹70 billion. As seen in Crew, the employees of the company faced a similar fate in reality when they were not paid their salaries for months between 2011 and 2012. 

Kohinoor Airlines Real

They even decided to go on a strike against the employers. In 2012, the airline ceased operations amidst a severe financial crisis, leaving thousands of employees unemployed. Four years later, its founder Vijay Mallya escaped from India, while still owing Rs. 9000 crores to different banks. The makers of Crew have slyly named the chairman of Kohinoor Airlines as “Vijay Walia,” referring to the real-life businessman who becomes a fugitive. 

And while the plight of the crew and other employees of Kohinoor Airlines represents the actual troubles faced by the workers of Kingfisher Airlines, the rest of the story is completely fictional. There are no reports of Vijay Mallya ever smuggling gold through his airlines, nor there were any real crew members like Geeta, Jasmine, and Divya who earned millions through smuggling.

Also Read: Patna Shukla on Hotstar: True Story Explored


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