In the bustling city of New Delhi, Ace Aviation, headquartered in Malta, is eagerly seeking a quick resolution from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). They want their appeal heard soon because they’re not happy with a recent decision made by Mumbai’s National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Ace Aviation hopes for a hearing within the next two weeks.
As of August 30th, the NCLT in Mumbai has finished discussing the sale of Jet Airways’ grounded planes, but they haven’t given their final decision yet. We expect to hear that decision soon.
The NCLAT, while putting things on hold for now, said that Ace Aviation can withdraw their appeal if the NCLT’s decision goes their way. The NCLAT plans to get back to this matter on September 27th.
Ace Aviation’s appeal started because the Mumbai NCLT denied their request to buy the airplanes back in July. The NCLT argued that deciding to sell or not sell the planes would require reevaluating the approved plan.
During a previous hearing on August 10th, the NCLAT expressed a strong desire to resolve the financial issues between the creditors and the Jalan-Kalrock consortium before dealing with Ace Aviation’s request. They also made it clear that they can’t force the supervisory committee to sell the planes.
Ritin Rai, a prominent lawyer representing Ace Aviation, emphasized during the hearing that the winning bidder, the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium, had clearly stated in the plan that they didn’t want to keep the planes and preferred to sell them.
Rai also pointed out that Ace Aviation had received a letter saying they were the successful bidder. However, the seven-member committee, consisting of three representatives from JKC, three lenders, and one insolvency professional, had stopped the purchase process.
In previous legal proceedings, Ace Aviation argued that the parked planes were losing value because of the ongoing disputes between the creditors and the consortium.
In another related matter where JKC faced off against creditors led by the State Bank of India, the NCLAT gave Jet Airways a lifeline on August 28th by extending the deadline to settle dues of ₹350 crore until September 30th.
Within 48 hours of this decision, JKC announced they had paid ₹100 crore to the creditors. According to the payment plan approved by the NCLAT, JKC was supposed to pay ₹200 crore to the creditors by August 30th, with the remaining ₹150 crore coming from a performance guarantee. While the creditors didn’t object to the extended deadline, they weren’t happy about the performance guarantee being used.
Also, JKC filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to protect their interests in case the creditors challenged the NCLAT’s decision. The next hearing for this case at the NCLAT is expected on October 4th.