Dubai Aerospace Enterprise leasing unit DAE Capital has asked the Indian civil aviation authority to deregister two ATR72-600s it leased to TruJet (TRJ, Hyderabad International) because of lapsed lease payments, sources have told the newspaper Business Line.

“DAE applied for two ATR72-600s to be deregistered due to default in the payment of dues by TruJet. DAE submitted an IDERA [Irrevocable De-Registration and Export Request Authorisation] to the DGCA [Directorate General of Civil Aviation] earlier this week,” the source said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, TruJet currently operates a fleet of seven ATR - Avions de Transport Régional turboprops, including the two ATR72-600s and five ATR72-500s (two leased from Aergo Capital and three from Elix Aviation Capital). Only one, Elix-leased ATR72-500 VT-TMP (msn 875), is currently active, a fact sources confirmed to the newspaper citing “funding constraints”.

DAE Capital has been leasing VT-TMC (msn 1364) via its DAE Leasing (Ireland) 8 Ltd special purpose vehicle since December 2016, and VT-TMT (msn 1385) since January 2018. Both had been leased under 12-year contracts but are currently stored at Hyderabad International. The DGCA’s IDERA de-registration requests did not list either aircraft at the time of going to press.

Hit hard by pandemic-inflicted lockdowns in India, cash-strapped TruJet has spent most of this year trying to find new investors while struggling to meet lease payments and pay staff. Sources told Business Line that employees had not been paid for months.

In October, reports emerged that Indian conglomerate Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) had divested the carrier, selling it back to former owner Vankayalapati Umesh for an undisclosed amount, with Umesh taking over as managing director as most of the board resigned.

There has since been little clarity on the dynamics of how the company has been operating since then, although the sources told Business Line that it carried 27,000 passengers in August, 15,000 in September, and 19,000 in October.

TruJet and DAE Capital were not immediately available for comment.