Former billionaire’s impounded jet can’t find a buyer

Vijay Mallya (credit: Franciscojuanlago via Wikipedia)

Onetime billionaire Vijay Mallya can’t afford his private jet these days, and it seems neither can anyone else.

Mallya is the former owner of Kingfisher Airlines who once ranked as the 45th-richest Indian. According to Forbes, his net worth reached $1 billion in 2012. Once a “king-of-the-world-type,” that all changed for Mallya after a series of financial missteps and five years of losses, launching him into $1.4 billion worth of debt with the Indian government. He then fled India for the U.K.

In the high hopes of trying to recoup some of the owed cash, the government impounded the self-exiled Mallya’s personal jet, an Airbus Group SE A319, and put it up for auction for $87 million over two months ago. The 25-seat aircraft is described as being, “exclusively designed for exotic and luxurious use” and includes a bar, resting area, V.I.P section and vanity plate bearing its former owner’s initials.

Sadly, even its notable in-cabin shower is not strong enough to wash away its figurative stench of despair. After only getting one bidder interested — the Dutch government seeking to replace the Dutch government plane — Indian officials have decided to postpone the auction, which was scheduled for last week, in the hopes of generating more interest. The auction will now be held on June 29 and 30, according to Bloomberg.