Aircraft leasing in IFSC

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GoAir Insolvency: Lessors’ rights gone in thin air?

– Financial Services Division,

A Special Bench of NCLT,  New Delhi admitted the insolvency of Go Airlines (India) Ltd, popularly known as GoAir, on the 10th May 2023. The insolvency was admitted on an application of the company itself, on the ground of a self-admitted default of Rs. 11.03 crores towards interest to financial creditors, out of a pile of debt, that is, Rs. 2660 cr towards aircraft lessors and Rs. 1202 cr towards its vendors. The application was admitted in the face of strong opposition by the financial creditors and the lessors of aircrafts taken on lease by the company.

Subsequently, on an appeal before the NCLAT, the appellate forum affirmed the order of the NCLT, rejecting the contention that the filing of the insolvency application was malicious. The matter may still be taken up to higher or other forums, but in the meantime, there are question marks on India as a favoured jurisdiction for aircraft leasing. Aircraft lessors need certainty as to the exercise of their rights over the leased aircraft in the event of a lessee default, and the Cape Town Convention (CTC), signed under the auspices of UNIDROIT way back in 2021, is a set of minimum assurances that the countries signing that convention have provided to aircraft lessors. The question is, India having actually been a signatory to the Convention, is it okay to have stayed the rights of the lessors by way of a moratorium during the entire period of insolvency resolution?

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