AAX ordered to pay RM133m in UK lawsuits brought by aircraft lessors

AAX ordered to pay RM133m in UK lawsuits brought by aircraft lessors
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 20): AirAsia X Bhd has lost the RM95.33 million or US$22.98 million suit brought against it in the UK by BOC Aviation Ltd (BOCA), over an alleged breach of contract involving aircraft leasing.

In a statement , AAX said it, together with its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary AAX Leasing Two Ltd, received a sealed copy of the order, dated Nov 6, that was made by the High Court of Justice in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales.

It said the court has granted BOCA a summary judgment in the case against AAX and AAX Leasing Two, and that they have to pay US$23.78 million (RM97.31 million) to BOCA, comprising BOCA's claimed sum of US$22.98 million (inclusive of interest up to June 30) and US$401,386.85 as interest owed.

They also have to pay a post-judgment interest on the award, and £75,000 as costs to BOCA. 

"The financial impact to the group will be a cash outflow equal to the amount of the said order. There is no operational impact to the group.

"The board of AAX is currently reviewing the documentations received in respect of the said Order and will be seeking legal advice in relation to the said order," it said, adding it had not entered appearance in the said claim, in view of its current debt restructuring exercise.

AAX announced it was being sued by BOCA in September. AAX and AAX Leasing Two have been leasing four aircraft via four lease agreements with BOCA that date back to Nov 24, 2014. These agreements were amended and restated in Dec 2018. In the suit, BOCA alleged there were breaches under these agreements.

Separately, AAX said it and two other subsidiaries — AAX Mauritius One Ltd and AAX Leasing Four Ltd — have been served with a judgment in default on the claim brought against them by International Lease Finance Corp (ILF), which ordered them to pay £6,581,868.05 (inclusive of costs and interests to the date of the judgement)(about RM35.74 million) to ILF.

The judgment was made by the UK's High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division Commercial Court. ILF is a trustee for two aircraft leased by AAX Leasing Four.

“Notwithstanding, the company has not been served with the documents in relation to the claim filed by the claimant with the High Court prior to the judgment,” AAX said.

Similarly, AAX said its board is now reviewing the documents in respect of this judgment, and will seek legal advice on the matter, in view of its debt restructuring exercise.

AAX shares finished 7.69% or half a sen lower at six sen today, giving it a market capitalisation of RM248.89 million. It saw 20.1 million shares traded.

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Tan Choe Choe