India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved de-registration applications for three aircraft placed at SpiceJet (SG, Delhi International). The de-registrations pave the way for the lessor to repossess the planes. Earlier this month, ch-aviation reported that various lessors had applied to the DGCA to de-register a total of five aircraft.

ch-aviation research has identified the three de-registered aircraft as VT-MXF (msn 64507), VT-MXJ (msn 64509), and VT-SZJ (msn 41397) all of which were leased to SpiceJet by SMBC Aviation Capital via various special purpose vehicles. VT-MXF and VT-MXJ are B737-8s and not flying, while VT-SZJ is a B737-800 and at Chennai for maintenance.

The remaining two de-registration applications come from CDB Aviation, which is attempting to retrieve a pair of B737-8s - VT-MXX (msn 60184) and VT-MXH (msn 60646) - from the embattled airline. However, the DGCA now says this lessor has asked them to "hold" the de-registration application. SpiceJet says the repossessions will have no impact upon its operations. "We remain focused on bringing our grounded fleet back into operations,” a spokesperson said.

In addition to the de-registration requests, SpiceJet is contending with an insolvency petition filed by another lessor, Aircastle. Last week, Aircastle told India's National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) that discussions with SpiceJet over approximately USD6 million in unpaid leases for four B737-800s were unproductive. Those four planes have exited the fleet. The NCLT will resume hearing the matter on May 25.

In another court room drama, Credit Suisse hauled SpiceJet before India's Supreme Court last week over an unpaid USD4.4 million bill related to the supply and maintenance of aircraft engines and parts. The airline has promised to start paying USD500,000 in monthly instalments, meaning they should have paid off USD1.5 million by the time the matter is next mentioned in mid-July.

SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh says that despite the clear financial pressures, SpiceJet is focused on raising capital, re-activating its grounded aircraft, and expanding the network. He says speculation about the airline's future is unwarranted and that he has no intention of declaring SpiceJet insolvent.