Lessors of two more aircraft currently with SpiceJet have approached the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to de-register their planes rented to the airline.
These latest requests come after similar pleas for de-registering four Boeing 737s leased to the low-cost carrier in the last month which were then re-possessed by the lessors. An Ireland-based lessor filed the latest requests on August 25 for two B737s, VT-SPU and VT-SGQ.
All these requests have been made under the provisions of Irrevocable De-registration and Export Request Authorisations (IDERA) which is a part of the Cape Town Convention and provides for the owner of an aircraft to get an aircraft de-registered from the name of a third party in cases like the default of lease rentals. The regulator has to decide on the lessors’ IDERA request within five days.
About the earlier requests for de-registering four B737s, the airline had essentially said it is phasing out the old fuel-inefficient planes and will add the frugal B737 MAX to its fleet.
SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh is scouting for funds from external parties, including airlines, through a stake sale to the carrier afloat. The shareholders of SpiceJet, which is a listed company, have approved fundraising of Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 crore, and some of the amounts have already been raised, Singh had recently said.
The DGCA has since last month limited the cash-strapped airline’s operations to 50% of its schedule and will allow an increase in flights only if it can prove to have “sufficient, technical support and financial resource to safely and efficiently undertake such enhanced capacity.”
SpiceJet has begun searching for investors to fund the airline. The airline needs to raise millions to build a financial foundation that is strong enough to convince the DGCA that SpiceJet is ready to return to operating its full schedule.
The airline, which currently has 60 operational planes, hopes to add at least seven more by the year-end.
With inputs from TOI.