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SpiceJet plane forced to divert, seized by lessors in Dubai

SpiceJet plane forced to divert, seized by lessors in Dubai

A SpiceJet flight from Ahmedabad to Dubai was diverted minutes before landing and was taken over by a lessor on November 30, culminating in a dramatic sequence of events.

SpiceJet’s SG 15 took off from Ahmedabad at 12:12 a.m. and flew for three hours before receiving the order to divert to Dubai World Central (DWC), the second and less crowded airport in Dubai, about ten minutes from its original destination, Dubai International Airport. Lessors met the aircraft upon landing, waited for passengers to disembark, and then took control of the aircraft.

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In December 2018, the Boeing 737 NG aircraft was leased from Carlyle Aviation Partners. Since then, the aircraft has been grounded, according to data from the flightradar24.com website.

No response was received when a message was sent to a representative of Carlyle Aviation Partners, which acquired a 7.5% share in SpiceJet in February after its $100 million in dues were converted to equity. Industry sources, however, claimed that an engine lessor had secured a court order to ground the aircraft so that the engines could be removed.

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In May, several lessors, including Aircastle, Celestial Aviation, Wilmington Trust, and Willis Lease Finance Corporation, filed applications with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to initiate insolvency resolution proceedings against SpiceJet due to outstanding debts. Willis Lease Finance’s argument was recently rejected by the NCLT because it was the administrative agent and servicer acting on behalf of real lessors rather than an actual lessor.

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