SpiceJet, Gohawk Settle Boeing 737 MAX Dispute

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Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet has entered into a settlement with aircraft lessor Goshawk Aviation and its affiliates to end all litigation proceedings before the UK and New Delhi High Court.

Under the terms of the settlement, two more Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will be added to the SpiceJet fleet. Goshawk and its trustees had sued SpiceJet for $16.2 million, which SpiceJet was unable to pay. 

“The parties have agreed to settle all their disputes under and related to the aircraft lease agreements for three aircraft, two 737 MAX and one 737-800NG," SpiceJet confirmed in a statement. 

Currently, cash-strapped SpiceJet is in talks with various investors to secure sustainable financing. As per the latest reports, discussions are taking place for about 24% of shares between SpiceJet and a Middle Eastern carrier. 

The issue started when travel restrictions began and the 737 MAX 8 aircraft were grounded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lessors approached the Delhi High Court when SpiceJet had decided to spin off these assets and did so to stop the transfer until the lease dues were paid.

SpiceJet has also been courting trouble from other lessors, including Ireland-based Alterna Aircraft and United Arab Emirates-based aeronautics firm AWAS. The lessors had asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to de-register their aircraft

The lessors had put in Irrevocable Deregistration and Export Request Authorization (IDERA) requests for deregistering some planes. IDERA requests are filed by lessors when negotiations with the airline regarding payment of dues fail.

In a separate case earlier this summer, SpiceJet settled a dispute related to engine maintenance services payments with Swiss MRO SR Technics.

The airline settled with financier Credit Suisse, which was mandated to receive payment, by consenting to pay a certain amount up front and the remainder of the outstanding money over an agreed period.