Kingfisher Airlines will launch a rights issue of up to Rs 20 billion ($398 million) either before March 2012 or in the beginning of the fiscal year that ends in March 2013, Ravi Nedungadi, chief financial officer of UB Group, the airline's parent, said on Tuesday.

Cash-strapped Kingfisher doubled its loss in the September quarter on higher fuel prices and operating costs amid investor worries about its ability to remain aloft in a fast-growing but loss-making industry.

The carrier, controlled by flamboyant liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, has been late paying salaries and said on Tuesday it had suffered "substantial losses" and its net worth had been eroded.

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