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De-registration of Jet Aircraft: NCLT Asks DGCA to Maintain Status Quo

After the airline was taken to bankruptcy tribunal last month,a Dutch cargo services provider, who seized the plane in April to recover dues, moved an application to the DGCA seeking to de-register the aircraft.


Updated:July 5, 2019, 10:28 PM IST
De-registration of Jet Aircraft: NCLT Asks DGCA to Maintain Status Quo
Representative image.

Mumbai: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Friday prevented the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) from de-registering a Jet Airways Boeing 777 plane which is under the possession of a Dutch cargo services provider who seized it in April to recover dues.

After the airline was taken to bankruptcy tribunal last month, the Dutch company moved an application to the DGCA seeking to de-register the aircraft. When the NCLT resumed hearing the Jet case on Friday, the RP sought a direction to DGCA against de-registration of the plane as it is under the moratorium period of bankruptcy process. The location of the plane is not known immediately.

Weeks before officially announcing the shuttering of its operations on April 17, a logistics vendor had taken possession of a Jet aircraft — a Boeing 777 — at the Amsterdam airport for non-payment of dues. Later, the vendor took Jet to a Dutch district court seeking bankruptcy proceedings.

Later in May, the court in the Netherlands ordered liquidation of the airline. Following this, after the domestic lenders filed for bankruptcy of the airline on June 17, the Dutch vendor's counsel approached the NLCT and unsuccessfully sought to be impleaded in the case.

On Friday, agreeing to the RP's plea against de-registration, the tribunal, comprising VP Singh and Ravikumar Duraisamy, said before passing an order on the matter they want to hear DGCA and asked the RP to send notices to the DGCA seeking its reply.

Meanwhile, the RP filed its first progress report on the resolution process for the airline. The tribunal adjourned the matter to July 23, when the RP would have to file the second progress report. The consortium of 26 bankers led by State Bank took the grounded Jet Airways to NCLT to recover their dues of over Rs 8,500 crore. The lenders have been trying to sell the airline as a going concern since the past five months, but failed due to many a reason.

Apart from banks, the airline also owes over Rs 10,000 crore to its hundreds of vendors, primarily aircraft lessors and over Rs 3,000 crore to its employees who have not been paid since March. The airline has been having negative networth for long and has run a loss of over Rs 13,000 crore in the past few year. It has over Rs 36,500 crore of dues and being a services company negligible assets to recover.

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