The Service Tax Department has attached two aircraft of Kingfisher Airlines, now parked at the Mumbai airport, as part of proceedings to recover its dues of Rs.63 crore plus interest.
On Monday, Kingfisher Airlines wrote to the Department, asking it to not attach the aircraft, as it does not own the asset. “Kingfisher airline is only a lessee and not the owner of the aircraft. Despite this, if you continue with the detention order, we reserve our right, including the right to claim such damages and other compensation from your Department that we may suffer,” the airline’s CFO A. Raghunathan said in the letter.
Meanwhile, media reports indicated that aircraft leasing company International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has decided to take back four airbus aircraft due to non-payment of lease rentals for several months. “The detention of aircraft is illegal and untenable. No authority has any right whatsoever to detain aircraft owned by overseas lessors,” the airlines spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Etihad Airways would pick up a controlling stake in Kingfisher Airlines. But the airline, in a filing to the BSE, clarified that it was in discussion with various investors, including Etihad Airways, for equity investment in the company. “However, no agreement has been reached either with Etihad or any other airline, and the matter is merely at a negotiation stage,” Kingfisher said.