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Business News/ Companies / SpiceJet gets some respite as NCLT dismisses Willis Lease plea for insolvency
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SpiceJet gets some respite as NCLT dismisses Willis Lease plea for insolvency

The cash-strapped airline faces similar pleas pending with the tribunal from four other lessors

SpiceJet is looking to raise about $100 million, likely to settle its dues. (Bloomberg)Premium
SpiceJet is looking to raise about $100 million, likely to settle its dues. (Bloomberg)

NEW DELHI : In some relief for SpiceJet, the National Company Law Tribunal on Monday dismissed a plea by aircraft lessor Willis Lease Finance Corp. to initiate insolvency proceedings against the cash-strapped airline.

But apart from Willis Lease Finance, three other lessors—Celestial Aviation, Wilmington Trust, and Aircastle Ltd—have similar pleas pending with NCLT to admit SpiceJet into insolvency over unpaid dues.

NCLT has also issued a notice to SpiceJet on a similar plea filed by business consultancy Raymach Technologies Pvt Ltd, which recently moved the tribunal against the airline.

SpiceJet had allocated more than 48 million shares to nine aircraft lessors to clear outstanding dues totaling Rs2.31 billion (about $28 million). The airline is seeking to raise about $100 million, with promoter Ajay Singh reportedly in talks with global credit funds. It could likely use the funds raised to settle its dues.

In the case of Willis Lease Finance, both parties have argued for six months. SpiceJet argued that Willis was not among its four operational creditors, and contested the admissibility of the petition, highlighting Willis’s withdrawal of a similar petition earlier.

The tribunal questioned Willis Lease Finance for filing a new plea for the same cause of action without court permission.

Willis Lease Finance clarified to the NCLT that it was not among the lessors of SpiceJet but served as the sole servicer and administrative agent on behalf of actual lessors. As a servicer, it claimed the right to initiate a corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) against SpiceJet.

Willis Lease Finance presented documents, including lease, service, and assignment agreements, stating that it was the operational creditor assigned by existing lessors to collect and distribute rentals from SpiceJet. The tribunal had already noted earlier that, prima facie, Willis Lease Finance was not a lessor of SpiceJet.

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Published: 04 Dec 2023, 06:25 PM IST
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