Friday, April 03, 2020

Grounded SpiceJet’s monthly lease bill may exceed $20m

Budget carrier SpiceJet, which has grounded its fleet amid a three-week lockdown in India, could face a monthly bill of over $20 million for 100 leased aircraft – most of which are in storage.

Cirium fleets data shows that 13 of the aircraft are Boeing 737 Max jets, which have been grounded globally since March 2019, but most are of other aircraft types and have been placed in storage within the last 60 days. 84 of the aircraft entered storage within the past two weeks.

Only seven of the airline’s 113 aircraft remain in service as of 3 April. These are three Boeing 737-700s, three 737-800s and one Bombardier Q400.

The indicative lease rental total, which is based on Cirium data, does not take into account any rental payment reductions, deferrals, or other measures the airline may have negotiated with its lessors. At the current monthly rate, its lease payments would amount to at least $180 million from now till the end of the year.

SpiceJet would not comment on any negotiations with lessors, saying only that because of India’s three-week lockdown, which started on 25 March, all domestic and international passenger flight operations are suspended.

The airline is a darling of India’s fast-growing low-cost market, having orchestrated a successful turnaround after difficulties in 2014. But now SpiceJet is facing another threat to its business as the coronavirus causes what many are calling the biggest disruption to global aviation in history.
03/04/20 FlightGlobal
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