The ongoing legal war between SpiceJet (SG, Delhi International) and its former promoter Kalanithi Maran continued earlier this week when the Delhi High Court ordered the LCC pay Maran and his associated entity, KAL Airways, INR500 million rupees (USD6 million) within six weeks.

The matter is connected to a 2018 award of INR5.79 billion (USD69.7 million), plus interest, in Maran's favour after a share transfer deal between Maran and SpiceJet's current promoter, Ajay Singh, went south. The matter has been subject to numerous legal proceedings, all while interest continues to compound. In mid-2023, the Delhi High Court finally refused to overturn the original ruling, ordering SpiceJet and Singh to make good on the debt. Since then, Maran has attempted to extract payment, with only partial success.

Maninder Singh, appearing for Maran and KAL Airways, told the court on February 5, 2024, that a balance of INR1.94 billion (USD23.3 million) remained outstanding late last year. He said the respondent had assured his client they would pay. However, this did not occur. Singh says that debt has since grown to INR2.5 billion (USD30.1 million). The lawyer sought a garnishee order for INR1.94 billion, which he said was sitting in a SpiceJet bank account. The judge declined to issue this order, saying doing so would "sink" the airline. Instead, he ordered payment of INR500 million within six weeks but effectively suspended this order until an appeal by SpiceJet over the interest charged gets heard on May 14, 2024.

SpiceJet is paying 12% per annum on the amount due to Maran and 18% on amounts overdue. This week's hearing only concerned the principal outstanding. Maran is running a separate High Court action concerning the interest owed, while SpiceJet is defending and appealing the matters at every opportunity.

Separately, SpiceJet has also secured the rights to operate Hajj flights from the Indian cities of Gaya, Srinagar, Guwahati, Bhopal, Aurangabad, Indore, and Vijayawada. The airline confirmed the flights via a February 2 filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange. The filing said in 2023, SpiceJet generated revenues of INR3.37 billion (USD40.6 million) running Hajj flights from five Indian airports. "This year, the airline anticipates even higher revenue from its Hajj operations," the filing noted. "The commencement of the first phase of Hajj operations is scheduled for May 9, with flights to Madinah. Last year, SpiceJet inducted three wide-body aircraft specifically dedicated to Hajj operations. This year, the airline plans to follow suit, particularly focusing on enhancing services for flights originating from Srinagar."