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Paramount flights disrupted as regulator grounds planes

Paramount flights disrupted as regulator grounds planes
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First Published: Fri, Mar 19 2010. 09 34 PM IST

Rough weather: Three of Paramount’s five aircraft—one at Chennai and another at Goa—have been grounded by DGCA.
Rough weather: Three of Paramount’s five aircraft—one at Chennai and another at Goa—have been grounded by DGCA.
Updated: Fri, Mar 19 2010. 09 34 PM IST
New Delhi: India’s civil aviation regulator on Friday grounded three of Paramount Airways Pvt. Ltd’s five aircraft, after the Delhi high court refused to grant a stay in favour of the Coimbatore-based regional carrier.
The three aircraft of Paramount have been restrained from operation till further orders, said a Chennai-based official of the Airports Authority of India, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak with the media.
The de-registration order for the three Embraer jets was conveyed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) at 5.45pm, he said. De-registered planes are not allowed to fly.
The lessor of the airplanes, GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), an arm of General Electric Co., had asked DGCA to ground the planes as Paramount had defaulted on payments for them.
Rough weather: Three of Paramount’s five aircraft—one at Chennai and another at Goa—have been grounded by DGCA.
In a 25 September letter to Paramount and DGCA, GECAS said that Paramount “has failed to remedy the events of default referred in the notice and as at the date of this notice, there still remains $215,540.18” in dues..
The regulator had readied the de-registration order on Thursday.
Paramount had moved court, requesting a stay on the de-registration. The high court on Friday declined to entertain its plea. It would again hear the matter on Monday.
Paramount said in a statement on Friday evening that it will wait for the Monday hearing and maintained that its flights were on schedule.
Another Paramount official said many flights of the airline stand cancelled over the weekend. He requested anonymity.
Two of the aircraft have been grounded at Chennai and one at Goa, said a DGCA official, who also declined to be named.
The aircraft could be taken over by GE Commercial only after Monday’s hearing, he added.
Last year, GE Commercial confiscated three aircraft from Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, the country’s second largest private airline by passengers carried, owing to non-payment of dues..
tarun.s@livemint.com
PTI contributed to this story.
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First Published: Fri, Mar 19 2010. 09 34 PM IST