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New Delhi: In some relief for low-cost carrier SpiceJet, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday dismissed an insolvency plea by aircraft lessor Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin).

Wilmington Trust is one of five lessors that had approached the NCLT with a plea to admit SpiceJet into insolvency over unpaid dues. Willis Lease Finance, Celestial Aviation, Wilmington Trust, Aircastle, and Alterna Aircraft are the other lessors.

A similar plea from Willis Lease Finance was also dismissed by the tribunal. However, pleas from the remaining lessors are still pending.

During the proceedings, SpiceJet submitted various documents, such as lease agreements and invoices, to show that Wilmington was not an actual operational creditor but merely acting as a trustee. 

SpiceJet argued that the owner mentioned in Wilmington’s case was not the company that filed the petition but BOC Aviation Ltd, which subsequently transferred it to Aircastle (Ireland) Ltd. Therefore, SpiceJet contended that the petitioner could not be considered the operational creditor.

In response, Wilmington argued that the lease agreement was in the name of the lessor, and even the registration of aircraft by the civil aviation regulator, the Director General of Civil Aviation, was done in its name.

SpiceJet is facing legal disputes with other lessors over pending dues as well. The Delhi high court on Monday ordered SpiceJet to pay $4 million to two engine lessors, Team France 01 SAS and Sunbird France 02 SAS, by 15 February. Failure to do so could lead to grounding of the leased engines.

Meanwhile, in an internal note to its senior staff on Monday, the airline said it now has a bank balance of more than 900 crore, including 160 crore received as an instalment under the government’s Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme.

 

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Published: 29 Jan 2024, 05:44 PM IST

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