Go First, formerly known as GoAir, has extended the cancellation of all its flights until May 12 as it seeks to restructure its debt and liabilities amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wadia Group-owned airline has filed for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in a bid to save its assets.
However, this move has been met with opposition from aircraft lessors who have asked the aviation regulator to deregister some of its planes as a step towards taking them back, stated a report in NDTV.
Uncertainty looms over the airline's future
The ongoing tussle with aircraft lessors has left the airline in a precarious situation, with its future remaining uncertain. The airline's efforts to start insolvency proceedings have been further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has dealt a severe blow to the aviation sector. The airline had initially suspended flights for three days starting from May 3, but later extended the suspension till May 9 and then May 12. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation regulator, has asked the airline to refund tickets for its cancelled flights and has suspended the sale of tickets till May 15.
Intense competition in the Indian aviation sector
The collapse of Go First is the first major airline collapse since 2019, highlighting the intense competition in a sector dominated by IndiGo and the recent merger of Air India and Vistara under the Tata conglomerate. The aviation sector in India has been grappling with a number of challenges in recent years, including rising fuel costs, regulatory issues, and intense competition. The COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the sector's woes, with airlines facing a sharp drop in demand for air travel.
Lessors seek to take back planes
The airline's plea for insolvency resolution proceedings has been met with opposition from aircraft lessors who have submitted requests to take back at least 20 planes, according to the regulator's website. The lessors have opposed the airline's move to seek an interim moratorium to save its assets, arguing that they should be allowed to take back their planes. Go First had to ground more than half its 54 Airbus 320 neos fitted with Raytheon owned P&W engines by April, citing "faulty" engines.
Refunds to be issued to affected passengers
Go First has announced that it will issue a full refund to the original mode of payment for all cancelled flights. The airline has urged affected passengers to get in touch with its customer care team to initiate the refund process. However, the airline's financial troubles and uncertain future have left many passengers worried about their travel plans.
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