Having settled its dues with the tax authorities and the public sector oil marketing firms, budget carrier SpiceJet on Monday cleared its aircraft rentals dues by paying USD 10 million to some of its lessors.
SpiceJet paid these dues after the new owner Ajay Singh infused a fund of Rs 500 crore in the carrier late last month as part of his over all Rs 1,500 crore investment plan to revive the airline, sources close to the development told PTI.
“The airline has paid USD 10 million to three lessors towards rentals for six of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The dues have been cleared till October,” they said.
Besides other dues, the airline has recently cleared due salaries of its employees.
SpiceJet has a fleet of 17 leased Boeing 737-800s and owns 15 Bombardier Q-400s.
Its lessors include ICBC of China, MCAP of Japan, US-based Air Lease Corporation, besides B&B Air Acquisition, BOC Aviation and Ireland’s AWAS.
B&B Air and two other lessors have dragged SpiceJet to the court after it defaulted on the lease rentals following the severe cash-crunch, which lasted for almost a year.
They have filed petitions in Delhi High Court seeking deregistration of six Boeing-737 planes leased to SpiceJet, on which the court has reserved its order.
Earlier, SpiceJet had cleared tax dues, including TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) payments and service tax.
Singh, who was the co-promoter of the airline earlier, after his come back as owner now holds 60.31 per cent stake following the exit of the Marans family.
After investing Rs 500 crore late last month, Singh plans to pay two more tranches of Rs 500 crore each to SpiceJet by this month and next month besides bringing in changes in the senior management to streamline operations, which has still not returned to full scale.
“We are looking around for some senior management. But we are not making massive changes in the airline at the moment,” Singh had said.
From a peak of 345 flight per day that the carrier operated until early last year, it currently operates around 220 flights per day.
The airline has already announced it plans to operate 280 flights during the summers, though it has withdrawn services from six cities in the summer schedule, which would come into effect from month end.