Debt-strapped Go First urged the DGCA not to suspend or cancel the airline’s Air Operator’s Permit (AOP), as it will lead to the airline’s collapse.
Kaushik Khona, CEO of the airline, has assured the aviation watchdog that it did not apply for insolvency because its management was incapable of running the airline safely, but had done so to address the company’s debt-related matters. Go First further said it has enough cash reserves to sustain operations.
According to highly placed sources in the DGCA, in response to the show-cause notice issued by the DGCA, Go First explained that its decision to file for insolvency was not due to its inability to operate, but rather to address the company’s debt-related matters while ensuring the continued operation of its aircraft.
It provided examples of global airlines such as American and Pinnacle Airlines that had filed for insolvency yet managed to resume operations successfully.
The person said: “The airline has expressed intent on the resumption of operations at the earliest. They have said that they are confident of doing so.”
The airline responded to the DGCA on May 19. The DGCA had issued a show-cause notice dated May 8.
Furthermore, Go First emphasised to the DGCA that cancelling the airline’s AOP will defeat the purpose of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and could potentially lead to the airline’s collapse.
The company highlighted that it was diligently maintaining its aircraft, as confirmed by a highly placed official, in order to ensure its airworthiness and operational readiness.
On May 2, Go First announced that it was voluntarily approaching the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under the IBC, and was cancelling its flights for the May 3-5 period. Its application was admitted by the NCLT on May 10, resulting in the implementation of a moratorium.
This moratorium prevents lessors, lenders, and vendors from seeking immediate repayment of dues. A month on, the airline is yet to resume operations. As per its website, it has temporarily suspended operations till June 4.