Delhi HC’s big decision on Go First airline, Thursday is very special


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed aircraft lessors of cash-strapped GoFirst airline to inspect and maintain their aircraft at least twice a month. A bench of Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju was hearing the applications filed by the lessors in the main petitions seeking to de-register their aircraft on lease with GoFirst to avoid any further loss. On May 26 Aircraft leasing companies – Pembroke Aircraft Leasing 11 Ltd, SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd, Accipiter Investments Aircraft 2 Ltd and EOS Aviation 12 (Ireland) Ltd have filed a petition seeking de-registration of their aircraft by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Had approached the court. (DGCA) will take them back from the airline. During the hearing, the judge acknowledged how valuable and sophisticated the equipment on the lessor’s planes was, and that maintenance was needed to preserve them.

The airline, its representatives and the interim resolution professional (IRP) appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) were restrained by the court from removing, altering or taking out any part or components or records of the 30 aircraft without prior written information . Asking the respondents in the matter, DGCA and IRP, to file their responses to the petitions within three weeks, Justice Ganju also asked the aviation regulator to allow the lessors, their employees and agents access to the airport where their aircraft are parked. have been done. These planes have to be inspected within three days.

After this, the court fixed the date of August 3 for further consideration of the matter. The low-cost airline first stopped flying on May 3 and is undergoing voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings before the NCLT. On petitions by lessors seeking de-registration of their aircraft, the DGCA had told the High Court that due to a technical glitch on its portal, applications of several aircraft lessors were shown as ‘rejected’. It had said it was not processing such requests after the insolvency resolution proceedings froze the transfer of financial liabilities and assets of the troubled airline.

Justice Ganju had asked the aviation regulator’s counsel Anjana Gosain as to why different responses were sent to different lessors on repossession requests. Anjana had apprised the court that when lessors send deregistration requests to the regulator, it is done in five working days and in this case, no application has been rejected. He had said, “There was a glitch in the portal, due to which it was found that the applications have been rejected.” “They have applied on the portal on May 4. Unfortunately, there was a glitch. opened, found that they had been rejected.” Earlier, the lessors had said that the refusal to cancel the registration was an illegal move by the DGCA. The lessors’ argument is that GoFirst has no right to use their aircraft, as the leases relating to them have been terminated.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal upheld bankruptcy proceedings against GoFirst on 22 May, dealing a blow to the lessors’ efforts to take back its aircraft. Upholding the NCLT’s May 10 order, the appellate tribunal disposed of the petition of the lessors and asked them to file an appeal before the NCLT. The airline had approached the NCLT due to “an ever-increasing number of failed engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney’s International Aero Engines, resulting in grounding of 25 aircraft (equivalent to nearly 50 per cent) of GoFirst (the airline brand)”. Airbus A320neo aircraft fleet) by May 1, 2023″.

According to the lessors’ counsel, they had approached the civil aviation authorities to cancel the registration of their aircraft, but the request was rejected. He said that the DGCA had not contacted him, but after checking the status of his applications on the regulator’s website, he came to know that his petitions have been rejected.

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