Go First Plans to Operate 152 Daily Flights With 22 Aircraft, Seeks DGCA Approval

Go First Airlines has informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) about its intention to resume operations with 152 daily flights. The airline, currently managed by Abhilash Lal, has been non-operational since May 3.
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As per some media reports, Go First Airlines, currently under the management of insolvency resolution professional Abhilash Lal, has informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) about its preparedness to resume operations with 152 daily flights with 22 aircraft.

It is worth noting that Go First Airlines has been non-operational since May 3. Prior to facing financial difficulties and suspending its operations, the airline used to operate a fleet that facilitated 200 daily flights until April.

Resumption Plan and Workforce Capacity

In a recent resumption plan submitted to the DGCA, Go First Airlines stated that it possesses the necessary workforce to operate its current fleet of 22 planes. The plan includes approximately 675 pilots and 1,300 cabin crew members who are ready to fulfil their respective roles.

CEO Nominee and Financial Requirements

As per the Economic Times, Abhilash Lal, representing Alvarez and Marsal consulting firm as the resolution professional, has proposed Kaushik Khona, the current CEO, oversee daily operations and act as the accountable manager for the airline.

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Following its insolvency filing, Go First Airlines informed the regulator that it requires ₹200 crores to resume its flight operations. The company has access to ₹400 crores through the government’s emergency credit line guarantee scheme (ECLGS) and also possesses undrawn credit.

Interim Funding and Financial Plan

Currently, the airline is in discussions with lenders to secure interim funding of ₹200 crores, which will be utilized to cover salaries for April and May, as well as fulfil vendor payments.

According to the airline’s business plan, a daily cash-and-carry mode requires ₹12 crores to sustain operations. To support this, the Wadia Group, the airline’s promoter, infused ₹250 crores into the company in the final week of April.

Go First Airlines has a total debt of approximately ₹11,400 crores, with ₹6,520 crores owed to financial creditors, according to court documents filed in early May.

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In response to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s request for guarantees regarding the availability of pilots and cabin crew, the airline stated that despite experiencing numerous resignations, it still maintains a pool of 340 pilots, 680 cabin crew members, and 530 engineers, which is considered sufficient for operating its fleet of 22 aircraft.

Flight Cancellations, Refunds, and Airfare Concerns

Due to the ongoing crisis, Go First Airlines recently announced that its scheduled flight operations will remain cancelled until June 7. Passengers affected by these cancellations will receive a full refund.

The government has urged airlines to establish systems to maintain reasonable airfare prices, particularly on routes previously served by Go First, as ticket prices have significantly increased.

DGCA’s Advisory and Lenders’ Funding Decision

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had previously advised Go First Airlines to submit a comprehensive restructuring plan for a sustainable revival of operations.

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According to sources cited by ET, the consortium of lenders, led by the Central Bank of India, is hesitant to release funds to the airline.

The decision to provide funding is reportedly contingent upon two factors: firstly, whether the DGCA grants permission for the airline to resume operations and secondly, if the airline presents a well-defined and solid business plan.

Legal Proceedings and Aircraft Grounding

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has directed the insolvency resolution professional of Go First Airlines to file a reply within one week in response to petitions filed by three lessors seeking possession of their aircraft and engines from the Wadia Group firm.

The NCLT has scheduled the next hearing for June 15. Notably, when Go First suspended its services, over half of its fleet of 56 planes was grounded due to engine problems.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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