India’s DGCA to conduct audit of Go First aircraft
Before sanctioning any restart of operations, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will perform a physical audit of Go First (G8, Mumbai International) aircraft. The audit will take conducted between July 4 and July 6 at the airline’s bases in Mumbai and Delhi International.
The action comes after the airline’s resolution specialist gave the DGCA a thorough resurrection plan on June 28. GoFirst halted flights on May 3, and any restart of those flights needs approval from the authority. The LCC hopes to restart as soon as possible with 26 aircraft (plus four spares), according the plan. As of this now, the airline has canceled all flights till July 6.
“(The) resumption plan proposes to operate Go First from the maximum number of airports, flying over 70 routes with approximately 160 daily flights,” a Go First spokesperson told Indian media outlets. However, the spokesperson adds that the low-cost carrier will cut the number of airports it flies to from 29 to 23, with Kannur, Lucknow, Jaipur, Patna, Ranchi, and Varanasi not in the initial schedules. Despite reports of many Go First employees seeking employment at alternative carriers, the spokesperson says the airline retains the workforce (including around 300 pilots) to sustain its planned restart.
Also in the airline’s favour are National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) rulings that have kept aircraft in India, much to the chagrin of some lessors. In addition, Go First’s major domestic lenders, including the Bank Of Baroda, Central Bank, IDBI Bank Limited, and Deutsche Bank, have agreed to provide short-term funding of INR4.5 billion rupees (USD55 million) to facilitate the relaunch. The resolution professional says Go First’s planned operations will cost INR100 million (USD1.2 million) daily.
Despite this, the DGCA wants to see and confirm the status of Go First’s aircraft. A regulator spokesperson said that during the audit, “the safety aspects and fulfilment of the provisions required for the air operating certificate will be looked into.” Officials will physically examine each plane, he added.
Before suspending flights two months ago, Go First had a fleet of 54 aircraft, including five A320-200s and forty-nine A320-200Ns. However, many of those aircraft were parked, primarily due to problems with and the supply of Pratt & Whitney engines. According to ch-aviation fleets advanced data, there are now two A320-200s each at Delhi and Mumbai, with the remaining one parked at Nagpur, while twenty-five A320-200Ns are at Delhi and seven are in Mumbai. The remaining A320-200Ns are spread around Bangalore International (seven), Ahmedabad (one), Goa Mopa (one), Hyderabad International (two), Kannur (six), Kochi International (one), and Nagpur (one).