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Ecolift files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with nearly $2.6M in debt

Aircraft reconstruction firm Ecolift Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for Puerto Rico in San Juan, listing nearly $2.6 million in debt.

In the filing, the company founded in 1998 and headquartered at the Isla Grande airport in San Juan, listed as its largest creditors legal firm Fox Rothchild — with offices throughout the US mainland — to which it owes $452,795, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, to which it owes $451,883, Bell Helicopter, which is owed $221,279, and Giles Group Inc., which is owed $373,544.

On its Facebook page, Ecolift describes itself as a “one-stop-shop” that provides avionics, maintenance, repair, and overhaul services, at “facilities [that] are the most modern in the Caribbean region.”

“All work is performed in one place, allowing the most complete and professional service in component of reconstruction overhaul, full-service sales, modernization, design and installation of equipment for all types of aircraft in the Caribbean, North, Central and South America,” it further said in its self-description.

Ecolift has made headlines in recent years for its involvement in the sale of an $8 million helicopter to the Puerto Rico Health Department, while allegedly not following required procurement processes.

In July 2018, the company’s president, Ernesto Di Gregorio, was accused by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over irregularities related to the sale of that aircraft, which the agency claimed was sold under the premise that the Health Department could use it as an air ambulance, but that lacked the corresponding permits for that purpose. He faced trial in February 2020 and was found not guilty the following month, according to published reports.

In April 2021, Ecolift and Di Gregorio sued former District Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez and several other officials in their personal capacities related to that case, and alleged resulting damages.

That case, which is still ongoing, foretold Ecolift’s likely Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.
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