SpiceJet (SG, Delhi International) is facing a fresh bid to have it declared insolvent after three special purpose vehicles (SPVs) controlled by lessor DAE Capital launched legal action at India's National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) last month.

According to open-source NCLT records, AWAS 36698 Ireland Limited, AWAS 36695 Ireland Limited, and AWAS 36694 Ireland Limited filed insolvency petitions on March 9, 2024. The matters were briefly mentioned in court in this week and adjourned until May 30. The court asked SpiceJet to file its first response within the next two weeks.

The aircraft, all B737-800s, were leased to SpiceJet between 2019 and 2022 and entered the Indian register as VT-SYY (msn 36698), VT-SYX (msn 36695), and VT-SYW (msn 26694). The SPVs sued SpiceJet in the UK High Court over unpaid leases and other costs, with an award of approximately USD9.2 million in the SPVs' favour in November 2023.

The SPVs are taking a dual-track approach to obtaining that money - simultaneously attempting to enforce the UK judgement in the Delhi High Court and have the airline declared insolvent in the NCLT because it has failed to pay. Already, the lessors are facing pushback from SpiceJet, with their counsel, Krishnendu Dutta, telling the tribunal this week that the petition had multiple flaws and was not maintainable.

SpiceJet has had some success in defeating insolvency petitions in the NCLT. Last year, the court found an insolvency petition by Willis Lease Finance was not maintainable as Willis was neither an operational creditor nor an assignee of the debt. It also rejected a petition from Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin) on similar grounds. However, insolvency petitions lodged by Aircastle remains active with judgment pending.