Friday, December 07, 2012

Shannon-owned planes stay impounded

By Pat Flynn 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Two passenger jets owned by Shannon-based sister companies will stay impounded at an airport in Malta following a ruling in its civil courts.

The Airbus A320-211s, previously operated by bankrupt airline Windjet, are owned by Eden Irish Aircraft Leasing and ALS Irish Aircraft Leasing. Based in Shannon, both are subsidiaries of AerCap, which had also leased aircraft to Windjet but managed to recover them in August, soon after the airline declared bankruptcy.

Seven A320 aircraft operated by Windjet were originally impounded in Malta by order of Sicilian airport operator Catania Aeroporto. It’s claimed the airline owes €2.3m for airport services costs. The other five planes, also leased to Windjet by third parties, were returned to their owners after they deposited financial guarantees with the courts. Lawyers for Eden Irish Aircraft Leasing and ALS Irish Aircraft Leasing had applied to the Maltese Courts to release the planes.

The Irish firms argued they had landed the aircraft in Malta as part of a repossession process, due to Windjet’s default on its payment obligations, when the Sicilian airport authority obtained the seizure order.