Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has sent grounding notices for 3 aircraft leased to SpiceJet over dues pending for over five months. According to government sources, the grounding notice was sent to both SpiceJet as well as the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), earlier this month.
Another source said that DAE has sent a grounding notice for three aircraft; MSN 36694 (VT-SYW), MSN 36695 ( VT-SYX), and MSN 36698 ( VT-SYY) which were leased to SpiceJet. All three of these B737-85R aircraft were earlier with Jet Airways.
“A notice has been sent to both the DGCA and SpiceJet regarding the grounding. DAE has also written to SpiceJet seeking Aerodrome Entry Permit (AEP) for one of the its representatives,” said a source.
One of the sources quoted above also said that other lessors are likely to send grounding notices to SpiceJet in days to come.
“SpiceJet kept telling the lessors that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it wasn’t able to generate revenues. SpiceJet has defaulted on multiple payments for the past several months, and continues to delay communications with the lessors,” said a source. SpiceJet and DAE did not respond to queries sent by email.
Since June 2020, SpiceJet has been put on cash-and-carry mode by the Airports Authority of India over unpaid dues to the tune of over ₹160 crore. In a recent development, SpiceJet had claimed to have paid-off some part of the dues. However, BusinessLine has learned that AAI has asked SpiceJet to pay the appropriate amount in order to avoid encashment of its bank guarantees.
SpiceJet’s financial health has been extremely weak which has been a matter of concern for its lenders, auditors and its stakeholders. Between Q2FY15 and Q2FY21, its total liabilities jumped by a whopping 223 per cent, a review of its financial statements shows. In September 2014, SpiceJet’s total liabilities were ₹4,457 crore. Its current and non-current liabilities were ₹2,982 crore and ₹1,475 crore respectively.