Go First revival at risk amid legal tussle with aircraft lessors

The revival of the grounded Indian airline, Go First, could be jeopardized if a court sides with the demands of aircraft lessors.

The revival of the grounded Indian airline, Go First, could be jeopardized if a court sides with the demands of aircraft lessors. These lessors are seeking specific records after parts of the jet went missing or deteriorated, as per the legal filings from the carrier.

Foreign lessors have been embroiled in a legal dispute to reclaim their aircraft after Go First received bankruptcy protection in May. This protection, according to Indian law, placed a halt on the recovery of over 50 grounded Airbus planes.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Capital and ACG Aircraft Leasing recently approached a Delhi court alleging that some parts had been “stolen” or the jets were corroding.

The lessors, who are only permitted occasional inspections of the grounded leased planes, have requested the court to compel Go First to provide maintenance and aircraft preservation records for their jets.

Go First has challenged the lessors’ demands in its initial court response, arguing that it would be a lengthy process that would impact its revival. The bankruptcy officer of Go First, Shailendra Ajmera, stated in legal filings that such requests would significantly affect Go Air’s daily operations and its ongoing concern status.

Obtaining such records would be a “time-consuming task and would significantly divert the resources” of Go First, “from resumption of operations … to provision/inspection of documents/records to the lessors,” he added.

These filings, submitted to the court on Sept. 8 and Sept. 17, are not public and are being reported by Reuters for the first time. Go First and the two lessors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The airline’s submissions are scheduled to be heard later on Friday. SMBC, the world’s second-largest aircraft lessor which also has some leased planes to Go, warned in May that India’s decision to prevent leasing firms from reclaiming the airline’s planes would shake up the market and trigger a confidence crisis.