NEW DELHI, INDIA — India's aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has greenlit the de-registration applications for three aircraft leased by SpiceJet. Assome leasing companies initiated the process to de-register a total of five planes.

The three aircraft now removed from SpiceJet's registry are the Boeing 737 MAX 8s designated VT-MXF (msn 64507) and VT-MXJ (msn 64509), as well as the Boeing 737-800 with the registration VT-SZJ (MSN 41397). These planes were provided to SpiceJet through a leasing arrangement with SMBC Aviation Capital, facilitated by several special purpose vehicles. While the two Boeing 737 MAX 8s are currently grounded, the Boeing 737-800 is located in Chennai for maintenance.

The remaining two planes, Boeing 737 MAX 8s registered as VT-MXX (MSN 60184) and VT-MXH (MSN 60646), are caught in de-registration proceedings by CDB Aviation, their lessor. The DGCA has been informed by CDB Aviation to "hold" the de-registration application temporarily. According to SpiceJet, these repossessions will not affect their operations. "We remain focused on bringing our grounded fleet back into operations,” assured a company spokesperson.

Apart from these de-registration processes, SpiceJet is battling an insolvency petition presented by Aircastle, another lessor. Aircastle, in a recent statement to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) of India, expressed its disappointment over the unsuccessful negotiations with SpiceJet regarding roughly USD6 million in unpaid lease fees for four Boeing 737-800s, which have since left the fleet. The tribunal is set to hear the case again on May 25.

Simultaneously, a separate legal tangle involving SpiceJet and Credit Suisse surfaced at the Supreme Court of India last week. The dispute pertains to an unpaid bill of USD4.4 million concerning the supply and maintenance of aircraft engines and parts. SpiceJet has pledged to clear the debt with monthly payments of USD500,000, with USD1.5 million expected to be paid off by mid-July.

Despite these financial hurdles, Ajay Singh, SpiceJet's chairman and managing director, remains optimistic about the airline's future. He confirmed the company's focus on capital raising, reviving grounded aircraft, and network expansion. Dismissing speculation about the airline's viability, Singh declared that he has no plans to file for SpiceJet's insolvency.