Lessors of 20 planes belonging to the insolvent airline Go First have asked the aviation regulator DGCA to deregister and return them.
The General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has published the details of the lessors and their request on their website.
By law, the DGCA must deregister an aircraft within five working days of a lessor sending a request and publish the details on its website, people familiar with the matter told NDTV.
This development marks a turn for the worse for the Wadia Group airline, which has filed for bankruptcy with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
The airline said in a statement on Tuesday, announcing that all flights would be grounded, it would soon return to the air once its problems are resolved, particularly the issue of leased spare engines from US firm Pratt & Whitney.
Go First has claimed the US firm failed to keep its word to supply the engines, forcing the airline to halt 50 per cent of its Airbus A320neo fleet and subsequently all operations.
But the lessors asking Go First to return the 20 planes are likely to deepen the crisis, pushing Go First into a bankruptcy ditch from which it would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to get out.
At the NCLT, lessors today opposed Go First’s filing for voluntary bankruptcy and a moratorium on its financial obligations.
The NCLT heard the matter for almost four hours, after which it adjourned the proceedings.
Lawyers for Go First said the filing for voluntary bankruptcy and a moratorium was not intended to avoid paying debts to creditors but to save the company, news agency PTI reported.
Lawyers confirmed that the airline’s bank guarantees will be honored and that it has received notices of termination of aircraft leases.
The airline has liabilities of Rs 11,463 crore and has canceled all of its flights by May 9 and halted ticket sales by May 15.
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