Cash-strapped airline Go Airlines India Ltd, popularly known as Go First, has informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that there is no definite timeline on the resumption of flights.
In a reply to the show cause notice by the aviation watchdog, Go First said the airline doesn’t have any definite timeline to start operations yet, reported ANI citing DGCA. However, the aviation regulator said the airline has "expressed an intent to resume flight operations at the earliest."
The development comes days after Go First reportedly informed the pilots and crew that the airline will resume operations from May 27. The airline has currently suspended flight operations till May 26. Earlier this month, Go First, which is part of the Nusli Wadia Group, cancelled all scheduled flights citing 'operational reasons,' and filed for bankruptcy with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) citing the ever-increasing failure of Pratt & Whitney engines that power its fleet.
In its insolvency plea, the beleaguered airline said it has grounded 25 aircraft as of May 1, or around 50% of its Airbus A320neo fleet, due to 'failing engines' supplied by Pratt & Whitney's International Aero Engines. The grounding of close to 50% of the airline's A320 neo fleet due to the 'serial failure' of Pratt & Whitney engines has set the airline back by ₹10,800 crore in lost revenues and additional expenses, according to Go First.
The airline said it has been forced to apply to the NCLT after engine supplier Pratt & Whitney refused to comply with an award issued by an emergency arbitrator appointed by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). That 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.
Responding to the allegations by Go First, Pratt & Whitney said the low-cost carrier has a 'lengthy history of missing' its financial obligations to the engine maker.
On May 10, NCLT admitted the airline's plea for voluntary insolvency and granted protection under the moratorium from the recovery of its planes by foreign lessors. The tribunal also 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.
Following this, the airline’s lessors including SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd, GY Aviation and SFV Aircraft Holdings approached the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on May 11 challenged the lower tribunal order to initiate insolvency proceedings in the case of Go First.
Earlier this week, the appellate tribunal upheld the initiation of insolvency proceedings against the low-cost carrier, thus providing relief to it.
The admission of the insolvency case brought Go First's fleet under moratorium. Lessors will now need to submit claims to the resolution professional.
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