So far, lessors of 45 Go-First aircraft have approached the regulator to de-register under the Irrevocable Deregistration and Export Request Authorization (IDERA). According to a notice on the court’s website Tuesday, NCLT will deliver its judgment on Go First’s bankruptcy filing on Wednesday.
Go First has called for an early ruling because if its plea is upheld, the company will be protected from lawsuits by stakeholders to whom it owes money. Lessors are then unable to repossess their aircraft as the IBC process takes precedence over the IDERA process. Aviation regulators have five working days to make decisions on IDERA requests.
The first application for repossession of 23 aircraft under this provision was filed on May 4 and subsequently two more applications were made for 13 and nine – making Wednesday’s NCLT ruling crucial for Go First.
While AI hasn’t commented on whether it plans to launch Go First’s fleet, IndiGo said it is “not commenting on speculation for political reasons.” IndiGo has been hit hard by global supply chain constraints that have delayed new aircraft launches and Pratt & Whitney (PW) engine sourcing for its grounded A320neos. Go First’s PW powered Alleconomy aircraft and trained crew will be a perfect match for IndiGo. Facing a shortage of pilots, AI Group (whose A320neos use CFM engines) is primarily aiming for a comfortable position for Go First’s cockpit crew so as not to have to hire too many expats in the future.
After the closure of Jet Airways in 2019, the government reversed an earlier rule that required planes leased to a defunct airline to fly abroad and then to India before being handed over to other Indian airlines. Whether the same thing happens with Go First could be decided by the NCLT’s ruling on Wednesday. Meanwhile, lessors of three other aircraft have submitted de-registration requests under IDERA SpiceJet.
A SpiceJet spokesman said: “Two of the three aircraft are grounded for an extended period of time and this is not affecting our operations.” We have a very good relationship with the lessor and are in talks to resolve the matter. We have been working to restore our decommissioned fleet based on the loan approved under the ECLGS program.”