Leasing company granted quick judgement against airline
Settling contract disputes through court action doesn’t necessarily mean having to go through a full trial. Often, it’s possible to get a ‘summary judgment’ in which a decision is given in favour of one of the parties if it’s felt the other side has no reasonable chance of success.
A recent case before the High Court is a good example.
It involved an aviation company called Aersale 25362, which leased two aircraft to Nigerian company Med-View Airline.
Under the leases, Med-View was to pay a monthly rent and a supplemental rent based on usage. At the end of the lease period the aircraft were to be returned in a specified condition. Med-View fell into arrears and both aircraft were repossessed.
Aersale sought summary judgment on their claims for unpaid rent in relation to both aircraft, and for reimbursement or damages in respect of the cost of returning one aircraft to the specified condition.
Med-View argued that its defence had a real prospect of success because there had been an implied term that the leases would be suspended pending the outcome of negotiations and it had been deprived of an opportunity to earn further revenue from the aircraft.
The court found in favour of Aersale. It held that there was no real prospect of Med-View defending claims for arrears of rent in respect of the two leased aircraft, and the cost of reinstatement works for one of the aircraft.
Its submission about the figures did not begin to create a real defence for the purpose of summary judgment.
Please contact Holly Baker if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of contract disputes and litigation.