MUMBAI- The deadline has passed for potential buyers to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) for India’s Go First, and three notable entities, including a prominent local corporation and at least one foreign airline, have reportedly done so before the October 7, 2023, cutoff date.
The resolution professional handling the sale of the low-cost carrier is Shailendra Ajmera, an insolvency expert and partner at Ernst & Young’s Delhi office.
Go First EOI
Claims totalling USD2.9 billion have been received by Ajmera from Go First’s operational and financial creditors, putting immense pressure on the airline’s management to restart operations before it’s too late.
While a National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) ruling has allowed Go First to keep its 54 leased Airbus narrowbody aircraft and engines, that ruling is set to expire soon.
Additionally, unpaid salaries have led to a significant number of employees resigning. The airline reportedly retains around 3,000 personnel, but only about 150 are pilots.
A recent decision by the Indian government to align the country’s aviation rules with the 2001 Cape Town Convention further threatens Go First’s chances of restarting.
The changes to India’s Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2016) mean that asset-freezing orders will not apply to aircraft frames and engines, making it easier for lessors to repossess and reclaim aircraft when an airline becomes insolvent.
The exact impact of this change on Go First is yet to be determined but is expected to be a focal point in upcoming NCLT hearings involving numerous lessors. It’s important to note that Go First acquired all of its aircraft from leasing companies.
Cases by Lessors
According to advanced data from ch-aviation fleets, several lessors are involved in matters currently before the NCLT, including Avenue Capital Group, BOC Aviation, CCB Financial Leasing, CDB Leasing, DAE Capital, ICBC Financial Leasing, Jackson Square Aviation, Maverick Aviation Partnership, Merx Aviation Finance, Minsheng Financial Leasing, SKY Leasing, and SMBC Aviation Capital.
Some of the cases involving lessors before the NCLT are as follows:
- DAE Ireland Designated Activity Company v. Go Airlines (case no; IA(I.B.C) – 4361/2023)
- Accipter Investments Aircraft 2 Limited v. Go Airlines (case no; IA(I.B.C) – 3481/2023)
- EOS Aviation 12 Ireland Ltd v. Go Airlines (case no; IA(I.B.C) – 3472/2023)
- DAE 13 Ireland Designated Activity Company v. Go Airlines (case no; IA(I.B.C) – 3316/20230)
- Bluesky 19 Leasing Company Limited v. Interim Resolution Professional of Go Airlines (case no; IA(I.B.C) – 3277/2023)
- Bluesky 31 Leasing Company Limited v. Interim Resolution Professional of Go Airlines (case no: IA(I.B.C) – 3280/2023)
- Jackson Square Aviation Ireland Limited v. Interim Resolution Professional of Go Airlines (case no; IA(I.B.C) – 2944/2023)
- BOC Aviation Ireland Limited v. Go Airlines (case no; IA(I.B.C) – 2850/2023)
Go First has stated on its website that it has filed an application for the immediate resolution and revival of its operations. As of its latest update, flights were canceled through October 8, 2023, with the hope of resuming bookings shortly.
Stay tuned with us. Further, follow us on social media for the latest updates.