Indian Jet Repossession Row Could Scare Off Funds
One of the world's largest leasing firms has warned India the failure of troubled carriers like Kingfisher Airlines to return airplanes when they cannot pay their bills could put the country's aviation growth at risk by scaring away new funding. ILFC, which owns over 900 aircraft and rents them out to airlines for several years at a time, is the latest industry player to clash with the Indian carrier, whose financial difficulties have left its aircraft grounded since October. "I am not happy with the way things are working out in India right now," ILFC Chief Executive Henri Courpron told Reuters. "There is not a clear path to exiting fleets out of India when necessary. There are too many cooks in the kitchen and too many authorities involved in what should be a clear process." ILFC has six Airbus jets with Kingfisher of which four have been taken off the country's register. The Los Angeles-based lessor has sent a team to repossess the jets for unpaid bills. But they remain stranded by adminstrative hurdles and problems getting the planes ready to fly, Courpron said. ILFC is not the only firm citing problems getting planes back from Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya's airline, which is estimated to owe $2.5 billion to banks, staff and suppliers. Read more.