Five planes of Kingfisher Airlines have been grounded — four taken back by US-based leasing company International Lease Finance (ILFC) and one confiscated by the service tax department — compounding troubles for the beleaguered carrier. Neither Kingfisher nor the lessor — ILFC — offered any comment.
“One more lessor, ILFC has taken back four Airbus planes from Kingfisher following non-payment of lease rentals,” sources said, adding that the aircraft are now parked at the Mumbai airport.
According to the sources, Kingfisher has six Airbus planes leased from ILFC in its fleet of 42 aircraft.
“At this time we are not offering any comment on Kingfisher,” an ILFC spokesperson said in an email response from the company headquarters in Los Angeles. It could not be ascertained as to how much was the amount pending for payment to ILFC.
Kingfisher spokesperson, too, responded in a similar manner saying it does not comment on its relationship with vendors. However, the service tax department confirmed on Tuesday that it had confiscated an ATR plane from the carrier for defaulting on tax dues running into R63 crore.
The airline owes R190 crore in service tax dues, of which the airline has contested the department’s claim for R127 crore in arrears. The developments come amid reports that Kingfisher is working on a revival plan to be presented to the aviation authorities by the end of this month.