Alterna Capital Partners has joined the queue of lessors at India's National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking to have SpiceJet (SG, Delhi International) declared insolvent. An Alterna special purpose vehicle (SPV) is attempting to enforce a March 2023 UK High Court judgement awarding it more than USD11 million.

The matter of Alterna Aircraft V B Limited v. SpiceJet Limited was filed on December 23 and listed before the Delhi bench of the NCLT on January 4. The lessor is pursuing SpiceJet for USD11.1 million and GBP265,000 (USD337,850) awarded to it on March 2, 2023, by Justice Bright at the Commercial Court of the High Court of England and Wales. Alterna Aircraft V B Limited is an Alterna Aviation SPV. In turn, Alterna Aviation is a subsidiary of Alterna Capital Partners. Alterna told ch-aviation that the dispute involves two B737-800s, then registered as VT-SXD (msn 34801) and VT-SXE (msn 34802).

Kevic Setalvad, appearing for Alterna in Delhi last week, told the NCLT that SpiceJet had neither appealed the order nor paid the monies, so the judge's order had "attained finality" and the award now constituted a financial debt per the terms of India's Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Setalvad argued SpiceJet should be declared insolvent to allow his client to recover what is owed to them.

Counsel for SpiceJet, Krishnendu Datta, said Alterna's petition should be thrown out as the IBC is not a vehicle for the recovery of funds. Datta maintained Alterna's petition was not maintainable.

Alterna joins fellow lessors Aircastle, Celestial Aviation Services, and Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin) at the NCLT. All are pursuing insolvency petitions against SpiceJet, with Aircastle currently running three separate petitions and Wilmington two. To date, the carrier has either settled claims or fought them. It recently secured a significant win against engine lessor Willis Lease Finance, successfully arguing that this petition was not maintainable and having it dismissed.

Separately, lessors also have four lawsuits in motion against SpiceJet in Delhi's High Court, all seeking to enforce orders or recover assets. ch-aviation fleets data shows around half of the airline's 65 aircraft are leased from a total of 13 lessors, including Alterna Capital Partners.

Alterna Aircraft V B Limited v. SpiceJet Limited will return to the NCLT for a hearing on February 8.

ch-aviation has contacted SpiceJet for comment.