Thursday, October 12, 2023

India's SpiceJet to settle lease dispute with Celestial

SpiceJet will settle a USD29.9 million dispute with Celestial Aviation Leasing after reaching a deal on the sidelines of a National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) hearing in Delhi on October 10.

The matter, Celestial Aviation Services Ltd v. SpiceJet Limited, was first listed in early June 2023 and concerns unpaid leases for nine aircraft. The October 10 hearing was scheduled to hear arguments from counsel for Celestial in favour of declaring SpiceJet insolvent. However, both counsel for both parties told the court the intention was to settle the matter, and Justices Mahendra Khandelwal and Sanjeev Ranjam adjourned the case until November 7. Neither SpiceJet nor Celestial responded to a request for comment.

Celestial Aviation Services Limited was formerly known as GE Capital Aviation Services Limited. AerCap acquired the business in 2021 when it purchased GE's global aviation entities. Celestial is the second significant lessor SpiceJet has recently settled a lease dispute with, having converted debts totalling INR2.3 billion (USD27.7 million) held by Carlyle Aviation Partners SPVs into equity. However, another lessor, Aircastle, reportedly rejected a debt for equity swap offer from SpiceJet. Insolvency bids against the budget airline in the NCLT brought by Willis Lease Finance, Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin), and Aircastle remain ongoing.

12/10/2023 ch-aviation

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