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Delhi High Court Orders SpiceJet to Return Leased Aircraft and Engines

The Delhi High Court has directed SpiceJet to return two Boeing 737 aircraft and three engines back to TWC Aviation. This order follows a prolonged dispute between the airline and the leasing company, highlighting ongoing issues within the aviation sector concerning lease agreements and asset management. SpiceJet, which operates a fleet of around 50 aircraft, has been under financial strain, with mounting debts and operational challenges.

Court’s Order 

The court’s decision comes from a plea by TWC Aviation, which accused SpiceJet of “cannibalizing” the leased assets—a practice where parts from leased aircraft and engines are used to maintain other aircraft in the airline’s fleet. TWC Aviation contended that such actions were unauthorized and resulted in significant damage to their property.

They further argued that the value of the leased aircraft and engines had been compromised, requiring judicial intervention. The court ruled that SpiceJet must return the affected assets soon.

Compliance Timeline and Extension

Initially, SpiceJet was ordered to return the leased aircraft and engines without delay. However, in a hearing on May 15, 2024, the Delhi High Court granted SpiceJet a three-week extension to facilitate the return process. The new deadline for compliance is now set for July 21, 2024.

Impact on SpiceJet

SpiceJet, which has been facing financial challenges, reported a net loss of Rs.789 crore for Q4FY24. The return of the leased assets, which comprise approximately 4% of its operational fleet, might temporarily affect SpiceJet’s operational capacity but is seen as necessary to maintain legal and financial stability going ahead.

Broader Implications

This case sets a significant precedent within the aviation industry. The court’s firm stance against the “cannibalization” of leased assets could lead to stricter compliance across the sector. It also showcases the delicate balance airlines must maintain between operational needs and legal obligations.

Conclusion: The Delhi High Court’s order for SpiceJet to return two Boeing 737 aircraft and three engines addresses the importance of airlines adhering to lease agreements. This case, involving assets worth millions, sets a significant industry precedent, emphasizing the need for strict compliance and a balance between operational demands and legal obligations.

Disclaimer: This blog has been written exclusively for educational purposes. The securities mentioned are only examples and not recommendations. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making related decisions.
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