Elix sends grounding notice to TruJet for three aircraft

Forum Gandhi | | Updated on: Apr 21, 2022

Trying to resolve the issue, says airlines MD

Leasing company Elix has sent a notice to TruJet to ground three aircraft. The Ireland-based lessor has applied to the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the deregistration of the ATRs leased to the debt-strapped regional airline.

According to documents reviewed by BusinessLine, Elix applied for the Irrevocable De-Registration and Export Request Authorisation (IDERA) deregistration on April 5 for three ATR 72-212A registered numbers VT-TMU, VT-TMP and VT-TMK. As per protocol, the DGCA sent a notification to all the necessary parties involved on April 11.

When contacted, Umesh V, Managing Director, Turbo Aviation Private Limited, said, “They (Elix) applied for three, however, only one aircraft is getting deregistered but that also we are trying to get it resolved. We are paying Elix $1.2 million.”

He further added that TruJet is in talks with an investor for ₹200-crore funding. “We have received ₹30 crore so far from an investor out of the ₹200 crore. We are expecting another ₹50 crore in the next few days.” he said.

Elix did not respond to BusinessLine’s query.

However, a source at Elix told this newspaper he is certain that the DGCA will complete the deregistration process because “the overdue has run now over $10 million and dates back to before Covid. The lessors are done with Trujet- any rhetoric from TJ of recovery from here is rhetoric.”

Cash crunch

TruJet has been facing an acute cash crunch for over 18 months now. Last April, the airline had announced a potential investment from NRI businessman Laxmi Prasad, who had earlier evinced interest in bidding for Air India and Jet Airways. However, there was no progress on that front, too.

BusinessLine had reported in the past year that the airline has lost most of its top management including the CFO KG Viswanath, CCO Sudheer Raghavan, CEO Rtd Col LSN Murthy. At least 100 employees, including pilots, cabin crew, ground staff have quit the company.

Recently, the DGCA approved a summer schedule for airlines in 2022 which was effective from March 27, 2022 to October 29, 2022. This data did not include TruJet's schedule.

BusinessLine had also reported that several of its aircraft were ground.

However, in a press release, the airline said it will restart it's operations with one aircraft. This too lasted for only a handful of days.

According to the latest air traffic data from the DGCA, TruJet did not operate a single flight in March. Even in February it only 0.02 lakh passengers.

Published on April 21, 2022
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