MUMBAI- Dublin-based Wilmington Trust SP Services Ltd, an aircraft lessor, has filed a petition with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to commence insolvency proceedings against SpiceJet, a low-cost carrier based in India.
In May 2023, three aircraft belonging to SpiceJet were deregistered by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) upon the request of the lessors, with one of the aircraft being owned by Wilmington Trust SP Services.
SpiceJet Insolvency NCLT Case
Wilmington Trust SP Services, Sabarmati Aviation Leasing, and Falgu Aviation Leasing, the lessors, approached the civil aviation regulator to request the deregistration of three Boeing 737-800s due to non-payment of dues.
As per the cause list of the tribunal, the case is scheduled for a hearing on June 12. Further, the DGCA proceeded to deregister the planes with VT-MXJ, MXF, and SZJ call signs.
Wilmington is the third lessor to approach the NCLT seeking to recover their dues from SpiceJet. The pleas of Aircastle, an aircraft lessor, and Willis lease finance, an engine lessor, are already pending before the NCLT
On May 8, the NCLT issued a notice regarding Aircastle’s plea and requested a response from the airline. SpiceJet duly filed a response, and Aircastle sought a short adjournment on May 25 to address the airline’s reply.
Subsequently, SpiceJet filed an application challenging the maintainability of Aircastle’s insolvency plea. The tribunal is expected to hear the case on July 17.
Further, the engine lessor Willis lease finance case is also adjourned to July 4 for a hearing.
Real Estate company Acres Buildwell Private Limited initiated insolvency proceedings against SpiceJet. Further, it has filed an application with the NCLT to withdraw its plea after resolving the dispute with the airline.
On May 11, SpiceJet announced its plans to revive its grounded fleet using the $50 million it received from the government’s Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and internal cash reserves. The airline aimed to dispel rumors of insolvency and emphasized its focus on business operations, reiterating its lack of intention to file for insolvency.
“There has been a significant surge in passenger demand. We anticipate this increased demand to persist throughout the latter part of the year. As a result, SpiceJet has been strategically planning to expand its capacity to meet the growing requirements of the Indian aviation market,” stated Ajay Singh, Chairman, and Managing Director of SpiceJet.
“We have plans to introduce ten Boeing 737s aircraft between September and October 2023. The timing of this aircraft induction aligns with the peak travel season in India. Further enabling us to launch new routes and strengthen our presence on existing ones,” added Singh.
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