NCLT reserves order on Aircastle’s plea

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday reserved its order in the matter related to Dublin-based aircraft lessor Aircastle Limited’s insolvency petition against budget airline SpiceJet.

SpiceJet’s counsel has cast doubt over the maintainability of Aircastle’s petition as the latter had filed a separate petition under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) against the Gurgaon-headquartered carrier.

The counsel for Aircastle has argued that both petitions deal with separate cases of default by SpiceJet. The second case is listed for hearing on April 22.

In each of its petitions, Aircastle has claimed around Rs 50 crore as the default amount with regard to lease of two Boeing aircraft.

The tribunal had asked Aircastle to “satisfy this adjudicating authority as to whether the same operational creditor can file multiple petitions against the same corporate debtor”.

Further, SpiceJet’s counsel has said that the notice was issued to the director, and not the company in this petition. On this, the lessor’s counsel, Ritesh Singh, contended that the company has already replied to the notice, which showed that the company was aware of the matter.

According to a press release issued by Aircastle in January, the aircraft lessor owned 236 aircraft and other flight equipment worth $6.8 billion.

SpiceJet last week settled a Rs 250-crore dispute with AerCap’s subsidiary Celestial Aviation.

The budget airline, last month, also told the tribunal that it is trying to end a Rs 2.7-crore dispute with its IT vendor Raymach Technologies. Raymach had filed an insolvency petition against SpiceJet in November last year.

SpiceJet has successfully navigated two insolvency petitions–filed by Willis Lease Finance Corporation and Wilmington Trust SP Services Ltd–as the tribunal’s judgement was in favour of the airline on grounds of the petitions’ maintainability.

Till last month, SpiceJet had raised Rs 1,060 crore, including Rs 744 crore in January. The airline also jointly submitted bids for Go First, which voluntarily filed for insolvency in May last year.

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