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No definite timeline yet for resuming flights: Go First tells DGCA

Airline has filed for bankruptcy, blames engine supplier Pratt & Whitney for grounded fleet

Go First

Go First Airbus A320neo planes are powered by Pratt & Whitney (P&W)-geared turbofan engines.

Aneesh PhadnisDeepak Patel New Delhi | Mumbai

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Go First does not have a definite timeline yet for resuming flights, the airline told the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday.

The DGCA had on May 8 ordered the airline to stop selling tickets and issued a show cause notice for not operating flights in a safe and reliable manner. Go First stopped operating flights from May 3 after filing an insolvency application with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) due to cash crunch.

Go First, in response to the show cause notice, told the regulator on Tuesday that there is "no definite timeline for resumption yet". The airline did not provide the DGCA information about how many planes or pilots are with it right now.

Restart of operations depends on the banks funding. Our plans are ready, an airline source said. 

The airline, which has about 54 planes in its fleet, was operating approximately 200 flights per day before it went insolvent. The airline has squarely blamed Pratt & Whitney (PW) for its cash crunch, stating that almost half of its fleet is currently grounded due to delay in engine supply.

The lessors are filing court cases to repossess more than 40 planes of Go First as the airline is now insolvent. The NCLT earlier this month barred lessors from taking their planes back. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Monday upheld the NCLT order, asking the lessors to go back to NCLT if they want any relief.

Aviation Minister Jytoriaditya Scindia had on May 18 said that the DGCA was waiting for Go First’s plan on resumption of flights.

“We have very clearly said that we want a resumption of flights (by Go First) as soon as possible. They have to submit their plan to the DGCA. This plan will cover the number of planes, the number of routes. On the basis of this plan, the DGCA will decide how to take it forward,” he added.

The government has told PW to supply engines so that the grounded planes of Indian carriers are “up and running”, Scindia said.

“We cannot have multiple planes of one engine manufacturer on the ground in India, which is the case today, unfortunately,” Scindia told reporters after an event of industry body FICCI.

About 36 IndiGo planes powered by PW engines are currently grounded. IndiGo has about 140 PW-powered planes in its fleet.

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First Published: May 23 2023 | 6:47 PM IST

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