The Challenger 300, a luxury eight-seater jet that Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi uses to shuttle around the country was acquired in 2008 from Ireland. Golden Wings, a Mumbai-based private charter firm that operates the aircraft in India, acquired it on lease from Peel Aviation, Ireland.
According to industry sources the aircraft, a 2007 Bombardier model with the registration number VT-RAK is worth between Rs. 80-100 crore. Despite several attempts, Pradeep Thampi, owner of Golden Wings did not respond to our calls.
A staffer in his Vile Parle office who refused to reveal his identity told HT that Modi is one of their clients but did not comment on who owns the aircraft.
Thampi also runs another private charter company called Executive Airways. Sources claim that Indian politicians have been using the company's 15 aircraft fleet very often, especially during poll campaigns.
The controversial jet is chartered for Rs 2.75 lakhs per hour. In addition to a stand-up cabin, a luxurious toilet and a satellite phone the luxury jet also has a galley to serve meals and drinks.