DALLAS — SpiceJet (SG) has lost two planes from its fleet. American aircraft leasing company Aircastle requested India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to initiate Irrevocable De-registration and Export Request Authorisation (IDERA) proceedings against the low-cost carrier.
VT-SZK and VT-SYA were officially deregistered on March 7 and March 9, 2023, respectively, as per public records from the DGCA. According to ch-aviation.com data, the final beneficiary of both Boeing 737-800 aircraft is Aircastle.
The Cape Town Convention allows lessors and lenders to request the deregistration of a leased aircraft in the event of a default, through the use of IDERA.
It is currently unknown how many aircraft are present in SG’s fleet, but The Economic Times reports that a spokesperson for the airline said the return of the two aircraft does not impact its operations.
Aircraft Woes Persist
Last month, SG and another aircraft lessor, Carlyle Aviation, entered into a debt-to-equity swap deal, which covered up to US$29.5m in lease payment debts for the carrier. At the same time, the airline’s board approved the slump sale of its cargo business to its subsidiary SpiceXpress & Logistics. The cargo business shall be exclusively undertaken by SXPL, effective April 1, 2023.
In July 2022, SG witnessed its worst-ever period after repeated in-flight emergencies and technical malfunctions among its aircraft. Indian Aviation regulator DGCA stepped in and ordered the carrier to operate only a maximum of 50% of its flight network for eight weeks after several of its planes reported technical malfunctions recently. During these eight weeks, the budget carrier underwent enhanced surveillance by the Indian DGCA.
The DGCA order would later state that “In view of the findings of various spot checks, inspections, and the reply to the show cause notice submitted by SpiceJet for the continued sustenance of a safe and reliable transport service, the number of departures of SpiceJet is hereby restricted to 50 percent of the number of departures approved under summer schedule 2022 for a period of eight weeks.”
A month later, six Boeing 737 aircraft belonging to the carrier were deregistered.
Featured image; SpiceJet aircraft at Varanasi Airport. Photo: Ramón from Llanera, España, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons