India's Go First Airways has suspended its flights for May 3 and 4 as the cash-strapped budget carrier lacks the funds to pay oil marketing companies (OMCs) their dues, the Economic Times reported on Tuesday.
Go First has, of late, grounded more than half of its 61-plane fleet due to recurrent issues and the non-supply of engines from Pratt & Whitney, which powers its Airbus A320 neo aircraft, the report said.
The airline operates on a cash-and-carry model, meaning it has to pay OMCs daily for each flight and they can stop business if payments are not made, an official of an OMC told the newspaper.
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Go First did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment. The airline is in seeking to raise funds and Indian conglomerate Wadia Group is in talks to either sell a majority stake or completely exit its stake in the airline.
GO First has also sued Pratt & Whitney in a U.S. federal court seeking to enforce an arbitral award that asks the engine maker to supply the airline, the ET report said.
The airline’s Chief Executive Kaushik Khona did not respond to Reuters’ calls seeking comment. A Go First spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The grounded flights have led to Go First's market share falling to 6.9 per cent in March from 8.4 per cent in January, data from the Indian aviation regulator showed. Go First also posted its biggest annual loss in fiscal 2022.
- Also read: GoFirst fails to pay pilots salaries