The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has directed the resolution professional (RP) of Go First, a cash-strapped grounded airline, to provide details of subsequent developments related to the maintenance of aircraft. The two-member bench of NCLT, comprising Mahendra Khandelwal and Rahul P Bhatnagar, instructed the RP to file an additional affidavit within the next 10 days, including the status of the maintenance of leased aircraft.
Additionally, the insolvency tribunal has asked the RP to respond to pleas filed by three new Go First lessors within two weeks, with a rejoinder, if any, to be filed by the lessors in the following week. The matter is scheduled for the next hearing on September 1.
The three new lessors involved in the case are DAE (SY 22) 13 Ireland, EOS Aviation 12 Ireland, and Accipiter Investments Aircraft 2 Ltd. The pleas filed by six other lessors have already been completed.
During the proceedings, Senior Advocate Ramji Srinivasan, representing the RP, informed the tribunal that Go First has approached the Supreme Court to seek clarity on orders passed by the Delhi High Court and NCLT regarding the status of around 30 aircraft and their engines.
Earlier, on July 26, the NCLT rejected pleas from Go First’s lessors to restrain the airline from commercial flying, stating that aircraft were available for flight resumption since the aviation regulator DGCA had not deregistered the carrier.
The NCLT maintained that physical possession of the aircraft/engines would be with Go First during the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP), and lessors could not claim possession during this period.
Go First ceased operations on May 3, 2023, due to technical difficulties arising from the non-availability of engines from Pratt & Whitney. On May 10, the NCLT admitted Go First’s plea to initiate voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings.
Recently, Go First’s RP sought NCLT approval to refund ₹597.54 crore to around 15.5 lakh passengers who booked tickets for travel on or after May 3. In response, the NCLT has issued a notice to the lenders and the insolvency regulator IBBI.
Sources By Agencies