NEW DELHI, March 5 India will make it easier for
leasing and finance firms to take back planes used by the
now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines, two government
sources said, after financial companies complained that India
was earlier complicating the process.
Germany's DVB Bank SE, a plane financier, has sued
India's aviation regulator and Kingfisher to have two planes it
financed for the carrier deregistered by the regulator, which
would allow them to be flown in another country.
Cash poor and debt-strapped Kingfisher has not flown for
Separately, U.S.-based International Lease Finance Corp
(ILFC), one of the world's largest leasing firms, sent a team
earlier this year to repossess planes from Kingfisher for unpaid
The planes remained stranded by administrative hurdles and
problems getting the planes ready to fly, ILFC Chief Executive
Henri Courpron told Reuters in January.
On Tuesday, the government sources said the ministry of
civil aviation has decided to try to help remove obstacles to
leasing companies' efforts to take back planes from airlines
that cannot pay, in compliance with international standards.
Separately, India's Director General of Civil Aviation, the
top aviation regulator, said he hopes to reach an amicable
settlement with DVB, Kingfisher and Indian tax authorities, who
took possession of two Kingfisher planes in a bid to recover tax
dues. A meeting is scheduled for March 26 to discuss the issue.
"We are always willing to help the leasing companies. We are
committed to a solution," Arun Mishra, the director general,
told Reuters. He added he does not rule out an out of court
settlement with DVB.
A Kingfisher spokesman did not have an immediate comment.