Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday ordered cash-strapped Go First to process the refunds for cancelled flights to passengers as per the regulator's timeline.

Go First today cancelled all its scheduled flights till May 9, 2023, citing 'operational reasons'. The airline had earlier suspended the sale of flight tickets till May 15.

DGCA said it is committed to minimising passenger inconvenience in view of the abrupt decision by Go First to suspend their scheduled operations without any prior intimation.

This comes days after the aviation watchdog said that Go First received zero passenger complaints in March. Vistara and Go First were the two airlines that did not receive passenger-related complaints in March, as per DGCA data.

As Go First extends flight cancellations, airfares are likely to surge on the low-cost carrier's routes owing to reduced capacity. In the summer schedule that began on March 26 and will last until October 28, the airline is scheduled to operate 1,538 flights every week.

Go First operates around six daily non-stop flights on Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Srinagar, and Mumbai-Goa routes. The no-frills carrier also operates five daily non-stop flights on the Delhi-Leh route. It also operates flights to international destinations such as Phuket, Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Muscat, and the Maldives among others.

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

The cancellation 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. This will push airfares, especially for tourist and business destinations, Mayal said.

Meanwhile, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Delhi is hearing Go Airlines (India) Ltd's insolvency resolution plea.

On Tuesday, the airline said it was 'forced' to file insolvency resolution proceedings with the 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.

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, according to data from Capitaline. The airline incurred a loss of ₹1,804 crore on revenues of ₹4,183 crore in FY22.

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