De Havilland Aircraft of Canada (DHC, Toronto Downsview) is suing India’s SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) in the High Court of Justice in London for USD42.9 million in damages, a De Havilland spokesperson has confirmed to Smart Aviation APAC.

The conflict stems from a purchase agreement it said it signed with the LCC for twenty-five Dash 8-400 turboprops. The Indian carrier has failed to make payments for the delivery of nearly 20 of them, Philippa King, a spokesperson for the Canadian manufacturer, said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, De Havilland had outstanding orders for forty-seven Dash 8-400s as of January 31, 2020. SpiceJet is the biggest outstanding customer, with firm orders for a further 19, on top of 32 it already operates.

However, the airline has failed to take delivery of the 19 aircraft and has defaulted on several payments, the claim alleges, adding that only USD7 million in down payments were made on the 19 turboprops.

De Havilland has now terminated the contracts and insists it is entitled to sell or lease the aircraft to other operators. It also aims to recover “liquidated damages” of USD2.5 million per aircraft, plus interest.

The manufacturer responded to a ch-aviation request for comment by saying: “De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (De Havilland Canada) confirms that it filed a lawsuit on February 14, 2020, against SpiceJet before the High Court of Justice of England and Wales in relation to a purchase agreement for 25 aircraft in order to protect and enforce De Havilland Canada’s rights. As the matter is before the court, we will offer no further comment at this time.”

For its part, SpiceJet replied to a request for comment from ch-aviation by saying: “SpiceJet denies any claims of DHC which are completely misplaced and without any default of SpiceJet. SpiceJet has already taken delivery of five aircraft in accordance with the purchase agreement, and the delivery schedule of future aircraft was kept in abeyance/deferred, and therefore it does not warrant any claim. SpiceJet will vehemently defend its stand. As the matter is now sub-judice we would not like to comment further.”