MUMBAI (Reuters) - Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, has secured ad-interim relief from the Karnataka High Court to prevent the repossession of four A320 aircraft by lessor American GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), it said on Wednesday.
GECAS had filed a complaint with regulator Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) saying Kingfisher had defaulted on rentals for four A320 aircraft, and sought repossession of the planes, a spokeswoman for the federal civil aviation ministry said.
The news sent Kingfisher’s shares plummeting 20 percent to 28 rupees. They later closed down 16.57 percent at 29.20 rupees.
The ministry said the Karnataka High Court has issued a stay on the proceedings.
“Since the matter is (now) sub-judice, the DGCA cannot take action on de-registering the aircraft,” the ministry spokeswoman said.
A Kingfisher spokesman said “the court has heard our application and thought it fit to pass ad-interim orders for our protection.” He did not offer any other detail.
Loss making Kingfisher Airlines, along with larger peer Jet Airways and Air India, had defaulted on jet fuel dues in October, but the Indian government allowed airlines to repay dues to state-run oil firms in six monthly installments.
Kingfisher has deferred deliveries of 32 A320 family aircraft to 2010-12 from 2008-09, and is planning to return 14 narrow bodied leased aircraft to rationalize its fleet and cut costs.
Kingfisher posted a net loss of 6.4 billion rupees for six months to Sept. 30, hit by fuel costs and slowing demand.