The future of Go First, the airline owned by the Wadia Group, faces uncertainty as Go First’s new management, operating under a resolution professional (RP), struggles to secure funds from banks. Despite approvals from the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the RP, Shailendra Ajmera, has been unable to raise the necessary funds due to concerns over aircraft availability. This setback raises questions about the airline’s ability to successfully return to operations.
The Committee of Creditors (CoC) had directed the RP to approach banks with a revival plan that would raise approximately ₹450 crore. This plan was approved by the CoC, which also allowed the RP-led management to engage with banks that are part of the committee. However, the availability of aircraft became a critical hurdle due to a Delhi High Court order that granted lessors the right to inspect the aircraft leased to Go First for maintenance and inspections.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had previously approved Go First’s plan to restart operations with a fleet of 15 aircraft and 114 daily flights, subject to specific conditions. However, the RP’s inability to guarantee aircraft availability has hindered the fundraising efforts and delayed the airline’s resumption process. Without access to operational aircraft, the airline’s revival plan remains uncertain.
The issue of aircraft availability emerged after a single judge bench of the Delhi High Court granted aircraft leasing companies access to inspect and maintain the leased aircraft. Despite multiple attempts by Go First to overturn the order by appealing to higher courts, the airline has been unsuccessful in obtaining relief. The single judge bench is scheduled to resume hearings on the case from August 17, with the outcome pivotal to the airline’s ability to restart operations.
In the midst of these challenges, Go First has sought immediate financial support from the CoC, requesting an infusion of ₹100 crore. This injection of funds would enable the airline to meet its insurance and statutory obligations. The airline’s fate now hinges on the court’s decision regarding aircraft inspections and maintenance, as well as its ability to secure the necessary funds for revival.