Indian aviation regulator DGCA has given the green light to cash-strapped airline Go First’s plan to resume operations. However, the resumption is subject to specific conditions.
In a recent notification, the DGCA stated that it has accepted Go First’s proposed resumption plan, which was dated June 28. However, the plan’s implementation is contingent upon the outcome of writ petitions that are currently pending before the Delhi High Court and NCLT.
For Go First to commence flight operations, the airline must comply with all applicable regulatory requirements necessary for holding an Air Operator Certificate. Additionally, the company is responsible for ensuring the airworthiness of its aircraft engaged in operations.
Before deploying any aircraft for operations, Go First must conduct a satisfactory handling flight. Furthermore, any changes in the company that could impact the resumption plan, as submitted by the resolution professional, must be promptly notified to the DGCA.
On a related note, Go First recently announced the cancellation of all its flights until at least July 23, 2023, citing operational reasons. Earlier this month, the regulator had informed the airline that a special audit of its facilities at Mumbai and Delhi would be conducted. Go First aims to restart flights with 22 aircraft in its fleet at the earliest opportunity.
As part of the resumption process, the DGCA has requested the resolution professional (RP) to submit the proposed flight schedule, considering the available resources such as airworthy aircraft, qualified pilots, cabin crew, AMEs, and flight dispatchers. The airline must also make necessary arrangements for commencing scheduled flight operations, including securing interim funding.
Meanwhile, Go First’s RP, Shailendra Ajmera, has 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.
It is worth noting that Go First currently employs around 4,200 individuals, and its revenue from operations in the financial year ending March 2022 amounted to Rs 4,183 crore. However, the airline’s liabilities stand at about Rs 11,463 crore.
The airline operator had filed for voluntary bankruptcy before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in early May. Go First alleged that delays from a US-based engine maker had led to the grounding of a portion of its fleet, making it unable to meet its obligations promptly.