Pratt & Whitney on Thursday said that the cash-strapped Go Airlines (India) did not have rights over engines supplied by the American aerospace company. The development comes amidst the ongoing legal tussle between Go First and Pratt & Whitney over the supply of engines.
During a Delaware court hearing, Pratt and Whitney reportedly said that the engine maker does not have engines available to be sent to the beleaguered airline as the leases have been terminated and Go First has no rights on the engines. In response to the statement made by Pratt & Whitney, Go First said that under the Indian bankruptcy law, repossession of planes by any lessor gets frozen, and hence the airline continues to have rights over the engine.
Earlier this month, the beleaguered airline cancelled all flight operations and filed for bankruptcy with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), citing that Pratt & Whitney failed to provide engines despite several assurances, leading to the grounding of close to 50% of the airline's A320 neo fleet. As a consequence of which, the airline has lost a whopping amount of ₹10,800 crore in revenues and additional expenses. Pratt & Whitney has vehemently denied the allegations by Go First stating that the cash-entrapped airline has a 'lengthy history of missing' its financial obligations to the engine maker.
Following this, Go First approached the Delaware Court to enforce an earlier order by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), which directed Pratt & Whitney to release and dispatch without delay at least 10 serviceable spare leased engines to Go First by April 27, 2023, and a further 10 spare leased engines per month until December 2023.
On May 10, NCLT, while admitting Go First's plea for voluntary insolvency, granted the airline protection under moratorium from the recovery of its planes by foreign lessors. The tribunal has ordered the initiation of a Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) and the appointment of a resolution professional, who will maintain the airline's status as a "going concern". Further, the airline is mandated to deposit ₹5 crore with the resolution professional to meet the expenses.
This week, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) upheld the initiation of insolvency proceedings against the low-cost carrier, after Go First’s lessors such as SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd, GY Aviation and SFV Aircraft Holdings approached the appellate tribunal against the NCLT's insolvency order.
Earlier this week, Go First also informed the country’s aviation watchdog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that the airline does not have a definite timeline for the resumption of flights. However, the airline has "expressed an intent to resume flight operations at the earliest."
DGCA has asked Go First to submit a complete restructuring plan to resume its operations. According to reports, DGCA has asked Go First to submit the plan in the next 30 days. The airline is expected to submit all the operational details such as the number of functioning aircraft, and details regarding employees including pilots, maintenance, and funding arrangements.
Go First has cancelled its flight operations until May 28.
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