A bank consortium seized and scrapped a jet owned by Indian beverage and airline tycoon Vijay Mallya to recover money owed to it. The 31-year-old Hawker 700 was repossessed at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport earlier this month, having been parked there for more than three years. The aircraft, which carried the livery of Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, has been sold to Silent Enterprises, a scrap dealer in India, for just $34,540.
Indian aviation safety expert Mohan Ranganathan told AIN that the way the scrapping of the Hawker has been handled raises safety and environmental concerns. “Parts such as electronics, paint, battery and seat parts that are not biodegradable need particular care, and there are no guidelines for recycling here [in India],” he explained. “It is time the regulator looked at this issue as aircraft have been scrapped in the past in India.”
According to a former Kingfisher Airlines engineer, speaking to AIN on condition of anonymity, neither of the aircraft's engines was operable, and they were due for major overhauls. Silent Enterprises confirmed that the 1984-vintage nine-seat Hawker 125-700B had been scrapped and said that it is expected to yield 14,329 pounds of scrap metal.