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Business News/ Companies / News/  Go lessors trying to stall, says RP

Go lessors trying to stall, says RP

Go First voluntarily filed for insolvency in a Delhi court on 2 May, and discontinued its operations starting 3 May. The company reiterated on Tuesday that flight operations will remain suspended till 4 June.


MUMBAI : The resolution professional overseeing the insolvency proceedings of Go First told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that the lessors’ request to deregister the aircraft that have been leased to the airline, appears to be a deliberate attempt to obstruct the resolution process.

At the hearing, six lessors, including Pembroke Aircraft Leasing, SMBC Aviation, CDB Aviation’s GY Aviation Leasing, Jackson Square Aviation, and BOC Aviation, submitted separate petitions against the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in an attempt to repossess their planes that were leased to Go First. The court has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.

Go First voluntarily filed for insolvency in a Delhi court on 2 May, and discontinued its operations starting 3 May. The company reiterated on Tuesday that flight operations will remain suspended till 4 June.

The HC accepted the insolvency petition on 10 May. Go First has expressed its wish to restart operations and emphasized that the planes will be necessary to facilitate the resumption of services.

The admission by the National Company Law Tribunal has put a six-month moratorium on payment of all dues, including the aircraft on lease to Go First. Hence, the lessors cannot take the planes back. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal also rejected a plea by a lessor seeking permission to take its aircraft back.

Earlier, the lessors had written to the aviation regulator seeking possession of their aircraft. The DGCA, however, put on hold the lessor’s request.

Harish Salve, appearing for the resolution professional argued that “DGCA has done the right thing by not acting on the deregistering request, and both parties are free to move the NCLT to raise their claims. Deregistration of aircraft will scuttle the resolution process."

Salve also argued that if the aircraft were returned to the lessors it will lead to job losses of more than 7,000 Go First employees.

After hearing all the parties, Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju said the case will be further heard on Wednesday.

Salve further said that if the lessors wanted to petition they could have done so by approaching the Supreme Court in accordance with the NCLAT order.

The NCLAT in its order on May 22 while upholding the NCLT verdict rejected the lessors’ plea challenging the insolvency petition.

The dispute arose when the debt-strapped airline filed for voluntary insolvency before the NCLT on May 2. The airline then informed that it would cancel all its flights due to the pending matter.

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Priyanka Gawande
Priyanka Gawande is a senior legal correspondent at Mint. She has worked as legal reporter for four years with both television and digital mediums. Based in Mumbai, she reports on disputes across sectors including banking, corporates and finance. This also includes insolvency and bankruptcy cases and intellectual property rights (IPR) litigation. Her focus also comprises tracking capital markets and disputes relating to securities law. Previously, Priyanka worked with Informist Media for 2.5 years covering major insolvency and bankruptcy cases and corporate developments. She started her career in journalism with Business Television India (BTVi) where she reported on primary markets, banking, finance and insurance companies.
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Updated: 30 May 2023, 11:23 PM IST
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