With Go First cancelling flights for the next three days amid an uncertain future, airfares are likely to surge on the budget carrier's routes owing to reduced capacity.

Go First operates around six daily non-stop flights on Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Srinagar, and Mumbai-Goa routes. The low-cost carrier also operates five daily non-stop flights on the Delhi-Leh route.

The discontinuation of flights by Go First during the peak summer holiday season will be beneficial to other carriers and burn a bigger hole in the pockets of the customer, Travel Agents Association of India president Jyoti Mayal told Fortune India.

Flight cancellations by Go First will push airfares, especially for tourist and business destinations, Mayal added.

In the summer schedule that began on March 26 and will last until October 28, Go First was scheduled to operate 1,538 flights every week.

The beleaguered airline commanded a market share of 7.8% in the January-March quarter and flew 29.11 lakh passengers.

In a statement on Tuesday, the airline said it was 'forced' to file insolvency resolution proceedings with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after engine maker Pratt & Whitney refused to comply with an order issued by an emergency arbitrator.

Go First said it had to ground 25 aircraft, or around 50% of its Airbus A320 neo fleet, due to 'failing' engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney's International Aero Engines.

"With Pratt & Whitney failing to abide by the directions in the emergency arbitrator's award by providing spare leased engines, and with further engine failures expected in the next 3-4 months, the operations of Go First will be made unviable," the low-cost airline said.

The order 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.

The additional consequence of Pratt & Whitney's actions has also driven some lessors to repossess aircraft, draw down letters of credit and notify further withdrawal of aircraft, it said. Go First has paid ₹5,657 crore to lessors in the last two years of which around ₹1,600 crore was paid towards lease rent for non-operational grounded aircraft from the funds infused by the promoters and the government's Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme.

"The culmination of these actions will result in a severe depletion in the number of aircraft available for Go First to operate going forward, thereby making it further unfeasible for Go First to continue its operation and meet its financial obligations," the carrier added.

Go First, which began operations 17 years ago, had a debt of ₹3,513 crore as of March 2023. Over the past four years, the cumulative losses of the airline have piled up to ₹4,543 crore, as per data from Capitaline. The airline incurred a loss of ₹1,804 crore on revenues of ₹4,183 crore in FY22.

Last week, the airline filed an emergency petition in Delaware court against Pratt & Whitney, seeking enforcement of two arbitral awards that order a Pratt & Whitney partner to immediately provide the carrier with the serviceable engines.

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