Amid conflicting Delhi HC and NCLT orders on Go First’s aircraft deregistration, the company has pushed the expression of interest (EoI) deadline by a month to September 8. This comes even as the CoC hasn’t provided a timeline on interim funding, and the Wadia-owned airline struggles to retain essential staff, including pilots and cabin crew.
According to two bankers, during the committee of creditors (CoC) meeting held on August 2, the Resolution Professional Shailendra Ajmera said that the company had decided to extend the date of inviting EoI.
“The RP informed the CoC that he has filed an appeal against an order passed in the Delhi High Court which barred the airline from operating the aircraft. The DGCA has allowed Go First’s plan. However, if the courts do not permit the airline to operate the aircraft, it puts the plan in jeopardy. This was one of the reasons that it was decided that the date to submit an EoI should be pushed by a month to September 8,” the first banker said.
The NCLT ruled in favour of Go First allowing it to operate the aircraft and the RP to maintain the aircraft while the Delhi HC passed an order stating that Go First cannot operate the aircraft. The RP has challenged the said Delhi High Court order.
Go First is yet to receive an EoI, though EoIs are usually submitted towards the end of the timeline. However, it has received at least 40 queries.
Another hindrance is that the lenders are yet to decide on the interim funding. The other official said, “Central Bank is yet to give a nod to the interim funding. It is extremely crucial that the airline gets this funding at the earliest. A clarity on that is expected next week.” This was also one of the reasons, according to sources, why the airline decided to push the deadline.
Meanwhile, the airline is losing employees by the day. The Wadia-owned airline had filed for insolvency on May 2. The company had over 4,800 employees on its payroll prior to insolvency. According to sources, as of August 2, when the last CoC was held, the airline has 2,500 employees on its payroll. This includes 400 cabin crew, 256 first officers and 112 captains.
The airline had informed the DGCA of its plan to restart operations with 15 aircraft, but sources said that the airline may fall short on pilots.
Go First’s CEO, RP and other spokespeople did not respond to businessline’s query.