DGCA grounds entire Air Pegasus fleet for non-payment of lease money

Ashwini Phadnis K Giriprakash New Delhi/Bengaluru | Updated on January 16, 2018

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has de-registered Bengaluru based Air Pegasus’ three aircraft, thereby effectively grounding the entire fleet of the airline.

Confirming the development, a senior DGCA official said that the leasing company which had sought to de-register the aircraft was yet to take them out of the country.

An aircraft has to be registered with the DGCA to be allowed to fly in the Indian skies. The regional airline took to the skies in April 2015 and stopped operations in August this year.

The leasing company which had leased the aircraft to Air Pegasus sought to de-register them as the airline had defaulted on payments.

While Shyson Thomas, Managing Director, Air Pegasus, was unavailable for comments, sources in the airline said that of the three aircraft, one was involved in litigation in the Delhi High Court as the airline has filed a counter claim.

Many ATRs available

“We have already identified two more ATRs and have signed letters of intent. There are plenty of ATRs available in the market. In some ways, it is good for the aircraft to get de-registered as otherwise we would have to pay lease rentals as well as arrears which will not be the case now,” a person close to the development said.

The latest development could cause more problems for the airline which has till October 20 to reply to a notice sent by the DGCA on why its licence should not be suspended as it has not been able to meet its licence conditions for operating flights.

On October 7, when news of show-cause notice being issued to the airline was made public, Thomas denied receiving the notice from the DGCA.

“We will be presenting to them (DGCA) a concrete action as to how we intend to restart operations,” Thomas had said in a statement on October 7.

Meanwhile, in a move which will bring respite to both aircraft leasing companies and airline operators, the government is considering allowing foreign registered aircraft to operate in the Indian skies.

Published on October 13, 2016

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