LONDON – Following demands issued by two leasing companies, India’s aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has moved to de-register three Boeing B737 aircraft leased to Indian low-cost operator SpiceJet.
The de-registrations follow a recent demand by the Dubai based company DAE Capital, who had lodged a request with the DGCA to de-register three aircraft leased to the Indian airline, over a matter of unpaid dues.
It is understood that the aircraft de-registrations have been made under the provisions of the Irrevocable De-registration & Export Request Authorisations (IDERA).
The aircraft in question are owned by Ireland based leasing company Alterna Aircraft Ltd. According to Indian media outlets, a further de-registration may occur later this week, in accordance with the request placed by Ireland based leasing company Alterna Aircraft Ltd, who own the aircraft.
The carrier issued a statement in response to the de-registration move, stating:
“SpiceJet plans to replace all its older Boeing aircraft with the new Max model in a phased manner. Between now and next calendar year, SpiceJet will induct around 20 new Max planes into its fleet.”
“As part of this modernisation plan, we are returning older aircraft in a phased manner including these three aircraft.”
“SpiceJet has already returned 12 old Boeing aircraft to lessors in the last calendar year. We have 13 Max aircraft in our fleet and the new inductions would begin from October 2022.”
With respect by the demand by Alterna to de-register one additional aircraft, the airline stated:
“The lessor has not provided documentation in the manner desired to SpiceJet to facilitate de-registration of the aircraft and has instead chosen to de-register on its own.”
“This aircraft has already been removed from our fleet for over eight months and does not in any manner affect our operations or schedule.”
Previous restrictions imposed on SpiceJet
The Indian low-cost carrier has been the focus of other restrictions in the past few months. In early July the Indian regulator DGCA issued the airline with a ‘Show Cause’ notice, as a result eight incidents of technical problems involving its aircraft.
Later in July, the DGCA then restricted the airline to operate no more than 50% of its scheduled flights for a two month period.
SpiceJet is an Indian low-cost airline headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana. It is the second largest airline in the country in terms of the number of domestic passengers carried.
Prior to the global pandemic, it had a reported regional market share of 13.6% as at March 2019. The airline was previously operating up to 630 daily flights to 64 destinations, including 54 Indian and 15 international destinations from its bases at Delhi and Hyderabad.