SpiceJet’s fleet has been reduced by two, as Aircastle, an aircraft leasing company based in the United States (US), has requested India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to start Irrevocable De-Registration and Export Request Authorisation (IDERA) proceedings against the low-cost carrier.
The two aircraft, registered as VT-SZK and VT-SYA, were deregistered on March 7 and March 9, 2023 respectively, according to public records from the DGCA. The final beneficiary of the two Boeing 737-800 NextGeneration (NG) aircraft is Aircastle, according to ch-aviation.com data.
VT-SZK was originally ordered by SpiceJet and delivered to the airline in May 2014, whereas VT-SYA previously belonged to India-based Jet Airways. Spicejet received the aircraft from the still-grounded airline in May 2019, per ch-aviation.com.
However, SpiceJet has continued to utilize VT-SZK. As of writing on March 10, 2023, the narrow-body jet completed a return journey between Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) and Goa International Airport (GOI). It is scheduled to fly from BOM to Chennai International Airport (MAA) and return to Mumbai, per flightradar24.com data.
Meanwhile, VT-SYA flew to Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD) on November 12, 2022, and has been in storage ever since.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Cape Town Convention and Protocol, signed in November 2001 in Cape Town, South Africa, was drafted in order “to resolve the problem of obtaining certain and opposable rights to high-value aviation assets, namely airframes, aircraft engines and helicopters which, by their nature, have no fixed location”.
A protocol, specifically designed to address “international interests in mobile equipment on matters specific to aircraft equipment”, was signed in the South African city. The convention includes provisions for the owner of the aircraft to ask the registry authority in a contracting state to honor their request for de-registration and export following a proper submittal of the request “by the authorised party under a recorded irrevocable deregistration and export request authorisation; and the authorised party certifies to the registry authority, if required by that authority, that all registered interests ranking in priority to that of the creditor in whose favour the authorisation has been issued have been discharged or that the holders of such interests have consented to the de-registration and export”.
Previously, SpiceJet and another aircraft lessor, namely Carlyle Aviation, agreed to a debt-to-equity swap deal, covering the carrier’s lease payment debts up to $29.5 million.