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Kingfisher aircraft seized

Mumbai, Dec. 11: A dozen aircraft of Kingfisher Airlines were taken away by creditors and taxmen today.

Six more may be impounded by tomorrow.

Mumbai’s service tax department officials impounded an ATR that Kingfisher uses on lease. The plane was confiscated for defaulting on tax dues amounting to Rs 63 crore.

“Since the aircraft is taken by Kingfisher purely on operating lease basis and the airline is only a lessee of the aircraft (not the owner), it does not feature as an asset in the books of accounts of Kingfisher,” the airline said.

The deputy commissioner, service tax, had informed Kingfisher a few days back that seven of its aircraft in Mumbai would be impounded as it had defaulted on service tax dues of Rs 200 crore.

“We are in the process of impounding the second aircraft of Kingfisher by tonight — the rest may be taken away by tomorrow if they do not pay up by then,” said a top official in the department.

Four Airbus planes were then taken back by US-based International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) for the non-payment of lease rentals.

Kingfisher has six Airbus planes leased by ILFC in its fleet of 42 aircraft. Kingfisher and ILFC officials in Mumbai did not confirm the amount due for the four aircraft.

Mumbai International Airport Ltd, which manages the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, later penned seven more planes for non-payment of dues of Rs 53 crore.

The Vijay Mallya airline had been grounded since October, with the aviation regulator cancelling its licence for failing to come up with a viable revival plan.

 
 
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