Thursday, May 25, 2023

SpiceJet insolvency: NCLT defers hearing of lessor's plea to June 1

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Thursday postponed the hearing of the insolvency plea of Spicejet filed by aircraft lessor Aircastle to June 1. Lessor Aircastle had filed a plea over unpaid dues for an order amounting to Rs 49 crore, a Moneycontrol report said. 

Aircastle had moved NCLT claiming that SpiceJet has unpaid dues and sought initiation of insolvency proceedings under Section 9 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). 

It told NCLT that settlement talks with the Gurugram-based carrier were not fruitful and the airline's offer was not good enough. 

Following this, a two-member principal bench of the NCLT headed by president Ramalingam Sudhakar on May 8 issued a notice to SpiceJet and granted it a week to reply to the plea by the lessor. The matter was scheduled for May 17, which was further deferred for May 25. 

Aircastle’s plea comes after lessors of the airline submitted requests to the civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to deregister three aircraft out from the airline’s fleet.

On May 19, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) deregistered three planes of SpiceJet at the request of lessors. Out of the three, two were non-operational and its operations had not been affected, SpiceJet said. 

SpiceJet management said there was absolutely no question of filing for insolvency as the low-cost carrier initiated the process of reviving its grounded fleet with the $50 million funds received from the government's Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and internal cash accruals. 

SpiceJet said in its clarification: “Two of the three planes are grounded for a long period now and the same doesn’t affect our operations. We hold a very good relationship with the lessor and are in discussions to resolve the matter. We have been working to bring back our grounded fleet basis the loan sanctioned under the ECLGS scheme." 

25/05/2023 Business Today

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