Two lessors to domestic carrier SpiceJet are reportedly in talks to terminate contracts and repossess aircrafts over missed payments, a Reuters report has revealed.
According to the report, which has only quoted sources, one of the companies supplying aircrafts to SpiceJet started pulling out planes earlier over the domestic carrier’s inability to pay maintenance fees dues since last year and rentals since last month. The report added that 10 planes could be repossessed.
SpiceJet had a 119-strong fleet at the end of 2019. Its two-dozen lessors include Carlyle Aviation Partners, Aircastle and Avolon, according to industry data provider Cirium.
However, SpiceJet has termed the report as ‘speculative’ and ‘baseless’.
In March, SpiceJet announced that it would be cutting 10-30 per cent salary of all its employees in March, with Chairman Ajay Singh opting for highest 30 per cent trimming in compensation.
SpiceJet has operated 220 flights since the lockdown began, carrying more than 1,850 tonnes of cargo, more than double of all domestic airlines combined. Out of these 61 were international cargo flights.
The airline has operated special cargo flights to and from Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and a host of other places carrying vital supplies.
On Apri, 21 SpiceJet announced that it had operated its first international cargo-on-seat flight. “Over 15 tons of cargo was transported from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi, in a moment that is sure to open up many new avenues for the future,” the airline tweeted.
SpiceJet’s challenges in the pandemic crisis come on the heels of a rapid expansion early last year, when it took on around 30 leased planes from bankrupt Jet Airways and became India’s second-largest airline by market share.