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July 21, 2024


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India’s DGCA announced the de-registration of 54 aircraft in the first fleet following a decision by the Delhi High Court.

The court directed that the lessors and their authorized representatives undertake all maintenance tasks related to the aircraft up to and until they are de-registered and exported in pursuance of Rule 32A of the Aircraft Rules.

The airline blamed Pratt & Whitney for its financial troubles.  The legal threats went nowhere as it emerged the airline had failed to keep its payment schedule to the engine marker.

The process of removing the aircraft from India has been plagued with delays. There was talk of bids for the airline’s remnant, but nothing ever came through. The airline’s Indian equivalent of a bankruptcy administrator appealed to the Indian Supreme Court for another day last week but was rejected.

The airline has essentially no value. However, once these aircraft are back in flying condition, they will be very useful. There is a demand for aircraft, and with GTF supply constraints having peaked, lessors should be able to add them back into the market over the next few months.

These aircraft are unlikely to remain in India.  The most obvious local user would be IndiGo, but that airline has switched from GTF to LEAP and only operates new aircraft.  Asian traffic is growing fast, and several target operators should be eager to acquire lift.

The big question will be the condition in which lessors find their assets. The worse the condition, the longer it takes to bring them back to service.  Fortunately, these aircraft have been parked since 2023.  But the news on that front from last September was not encouraging.

author avatar
Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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