DELHI- The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s aviation regulator, has approved Go First (G8) Airlines’ plan to resume operations. However, the acceptance comes with certain conditions, as stated in a notification issued on Friday.
The DGCA has granted approval to Go First’s proposed resumption plan, which was dated June 28. However, this acceptance is subject to the outcomes of writ petitions currently pending before the Delhi High Court and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
Go First to Restart Flights with Conditions
According to the DGCA’s notification, Go First is permitted to recommence flight operations provided it adheres to all the necessary regulatory requirements for holding an Air Operator Certificate. The airline must also ensure the airworthiness of all aircraft involved in its operations.
The company cannot deploy any aircraft for operations without conducting a satisfactory handling flight. Any changes in the company that may impact the submitted resumption plan must be promptly communicated to the DGCA.
Go First informed its customers via Twitter that all flights are canceled until at least July 23, 2023, due to operational reasons. The DGCA had previously announced that it would conduct a special audit of Go First’s facilities in Mumbai and Delhi.
The airline intends to restart flights as soon as possible, with 22 aircraft in its fleet.
Wadia-owned Go First, the grounded airline since May 3, 2023, has decided to scale down its planned resumption of operations by nearly 30%.
The decision comes in response to the observations raised by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) during its recent audit of the airline.
The audit highlighted several concerns, including the insufficient number of pilots and technical staff to support the proposed scale of operations, particularly for flights to high-altitude destinations like Leh and Those.
The DGCA’s audit identified nearly 13 observations ranging from unresolved court cases to funding issues, refunds, and spares. Of these, the shortage of pilots was a key concern the regulatory authority raised.
Concurring with the DGCA’s observation about the pilot shortage, Go First’s resolution professional (RP), Shailendra Ajmera, communicated the revised plan to the regulator.
According to the new proposal, the airline intends to resume operations initially with only 15 aircraft, operating 114 daily flights.
The plan also includes the flexibility to add more flights gradually as operations stabilize and additional pilots are recruited.
This represents a significant scale-down from the airline’s initial plan. Subsequently, it aimed to resume operations with 26 aircraft and nearly 160 daily flights.
RP Invites Bids
Go First’s Resolution Professional (RP) Shailendra Ajmera has recently invited Expressions of Interest (EoIs) from potential bidders for the grounded airline.
The deadline for submitting EoIs is August 9, and the final list of prospective resolution applicants will be declared on August 19, according to the public notice.
The airline, which has around 4,200 employees, reported revenue of Rs 4,183 crore from operations in the financial year that ended in March 2022. However, its liabilities stand at approximately Rs 11,463 crore.
Go First had voluntarily filed for bankruptcy in early May, citing delays from a US-based engine maker, which prevented the airline from meeting its obligations promptly, leading to the grounding of a portion of its fleet.
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