Go First To Scale Down Proposed Revival Plan After DGCA Audit: Report

Go First To Scale Down Proposed Revival Plan After DGCA Audit: Report

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Following a special audit by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), cash-strapped airline Go First has decided to scale down its proposed resumption of operations by almost 30 per cent. According to a Times of India report, Go First resolution professional (RP) Shailendra Ajmera in a letter to the regulator said that the airline now plans to resume operations with only 15 aircraft and 114 daily flights. The airline will add new flights when it is able to stabilise operations and add pilots.

As per reports, the DGCA conducted a special audit of Go First’s facilities in Delhi and Mumbai earlier this month. The regulator found that the airline does not have adequate pilots and other technical staffers for the proposed scale of operations. While the cash-strapped airline wanted to fly to Leh and Thoise, the DGCA found that the airline does not have the required number of specially trained plots for these high-altitude flights. 

As per the TOI report, the auditors raised 13 observations, ranging from ongoing court cases to refunding customers and buying spares.

The Wadia Group-owned airline stopped operations on May 3 and filed for bankruptcy. It is currently undergoing an insolvency resolution process. 

Go First initially submitted a plan to resume operations with 26 aircraft- 22 to be used and four on standby. They wanted to start operations on 22 airports and 76 routes with nearly 160 daily flights. However, the Go First resolution professional (RP) Shailendra Ajmera in a letter to the DGCA on July 15, as per the report, said, “The network plan for initially operating 15 aircraft and as the operations regularly, we would plan to add 4 aircraft and then 3 aircraft respectively.” 

As per the report, Ajmera also told DCCA that the airline has to process refunds of over Rs 500 crore for flights canceled till early July and has advance bookings of about Rs 10 crore. 

Although there is no clarity yet on how those refunds will be processed. 

The RP has also told the aviation regulator that agents will be allowed to book tickets using their money blocked with the airline and passengers who booked directly with the airline will get refunds from fresh cashflow the airline gets from new bookings. 

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According to a PTI report, and senior company official has said that after the audit DGCA had sought additional information from the airline, which we have submitted. Based on our responses, the regulator had sought some more information for clarity and that information was submitted. 

He told the news agency that the airline has 22 aircraft ready with four in reserve and “as and when we get a go-ahead, we will start them deploying.” The airline is trying to get some 15-18 aircraft initially and there are some pilots whose recency is to be cleared in 4-5 days, so in the next week we will have balance aircraft, he said.

The report also said that on July 10, Go First Resolution Professional Shailendra Ajmera invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) from the prospective buyers for the airline to expedite the sale process.

The deadline for submitting EoIs is August 9 and the final list of prospective resolution applicants will be declared on August 19. 

A report by Mint said that the Wadia Group-owned airline will have to sign a fresh lease pact for 30-35 aircraft as lessors have already terminated the previous ones following its insolvency filing. 

The airline will need to re-enter into fresh lease agreements or get the termination revoked by the lessors in case it wants to operate these 30-35 aircraft whose lease agreements were terminated around the time the airline filed for insolvency, the report on July 20 said citing sources familiar with the matter.

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