Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Mihan to provide smooth landing to country’s directly imported lease aircraft

Nagpur: The country’s first aircraft under direct leasing arrangement, which by-passes the foreign subsidiary route, will land at the Mihan-SEZ on Thursday. The SEZ here will provide a tax-free landing to a Hawker 800 XP aircraft set to be delivered to the lessee at Delhi. The transaction is being dubbed to be the first its kind in the country.

Here is how the chain of events will take place. The plane is being imported from UK by Jetsetgo Fleet Management Services Private Limited. This is an entity under the GIFT City IFSC, near Ahmedabad. The IFSC is a deemed-foreign area and part of multi-service SEZ. The IFSC framework allows leasing companies to operate from its jurisdiction.

Jetsetgo is the first leasing company based in India to import an aircraft. Even as the import would be tax-free, GIFT City IFSC does not have an airport of its own. Taxes would apply if the aircraft lands at a regular airport, including the one at Ahmedabad.

Here is where Mihan-SEZ comes into play. Mihan is connected to the airport through the taxiway connecting Air India’s maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) depot. Being a SEZ, any imported item entering Mihan will not attract any duty.

After landing at Nagpur airport, the aircraft will be towed inside the MRO. The customs clearance will happen at Mihan. From here, the plane will further take off for Delhi to be delivered to the lessee — Indo Pacific Aviation, which is an arm of Jetsetgo. The duty will be attracted only when the plane is moved out of the SEZ to be delivered to the lessee, as per rates applicable to non-scheduled operator.

There are only two SEZs linked to an airport. One is Mihan and the other of GMR at Hyderabad.

Even as Jetsetgo will be the first Indian leasing company to directly import an aircraft, Air India MRO also sees an opportunity in providing parking and warehousing services for such aircraft imports.

Clearance to the aircraft is expected to be completed within two days. So far aircraft are imported into India by leasing companies through their foreign subsidiaries in countries where taxes are low. Jetsetgo will do it directly.

The arrangement has been facilitated by Moon SEZ Consultants Private Limited.

18/08/21 Shishir Arya/Times of India

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