NEW DELHI: In a reprieve to SpiceJet, the Delhi High Court today asked aviation regulator DGCA not to de-register its six leased planes till April six, saying the no-frill carrier was likely to settle the dispute with two Irish aircraft leasing firms.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said till the next date of hearing, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will take no action as SpiceJet is likely to "settle the dispute".
If SpiceJet settles the issue, "it's well and good. Otherwise, we will hear the matter and dispose it off," the bench said.
The airline had moved the High Court seeking orders to DGCA not to de-register its six aircraft leased from two lessors.
Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for SpiceJet which has moved the High Court seeking orders to DGCA not to de-register these Boeing 737 planes, said the airline has settled its dispute with Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin) Ltd and a settlement with AWAS Ireland Ltd was on the cards.
The March 19 order for de-registration of the six planes was passed on the plea of the two Irish firms, which had said their lease wi th SpiceJet had been terminated due to alleged default in payment of lease rental by the airline.
Challenging the order, the airline, in its plea, had said that de-registration of its aircraft "shall result in completely closing down of operations of SpiceJet" as a result of which the entire turnaround plan, in terms of a scheme for revival and reconstruction of the carrier, would "collapse".
It said the Scheme of Reconstruction and Revival for Takeover of Ownership, Management and Control of the airline would collapse "as no investor would be investing money in an airline which was without aircraft and operations".
SpiceJet also said de-registration of its aircraft would also mean that it would not be able to fly them, which in turn would affect the people who have booked tickets months in advance.
A single judge bench of the high court had on March 19 directed the DGCA to de-register six Boeing 737 aircraft leased by the Irish firms to the carrier.
An airline cannot operate an aircraft once its de- registered by the aviation regulator.
The Irish firms had moved court seeking directions to DGCA to de-register the aircraft given on lease to the airline claiming that the regulator had not carried out the exercise despite several representations by the firms.
The firms had said that they had sought de-registration of the aircraft as their lease with SpiceJet had been terminated due to alleged default in payment of lease rents by the airline.
The court had directed DGCA to "forthwith" de-register the aircraft, saying once the creditors fulfilled the conditions prescribed in Aircraft Rules, the aviation regulator was "mandatorily required to cancel registration".
It had also directed DGCA to decide within two weeks the companies' plea for export of the aircraft out of the country while disposing of the pleas of the Irish firms.
SpiceJet, which currently has 32 aircraft in its fleet, had argued that de-registration of the aircraft would impinge upon public interest.