Troubled Indian low-cost carrier Go First has extended its suspension of flights until 12 May, with lessors also filing further aircraft de-registration requests with the country’s civil aviation regulator.
Go First grounded flights on 2 May, initially until 5 May, as mounting financial challenges prompted it to seek bankruptcy protection. It subsequently extended the flight suspension until 9 May. Flights will now remain grounded until 12 May for what the carrier terms operational reasons.
Go First has laid the blame for its challenges on the reliability of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines powering its Airbus A320neos – it has 25 A320neos in storage, about half its overall aircraft fleet. The carrier and the engine maker are engaged in a legal tangle on the matter.
Meanwhile, lessors have piled more pressure on the airline with a further round of aircraft de-registration requests covering another 13 aircraft – 10 A320neos and three A320ceos – information published by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation shows. The regulator had earlier listed de-registration requests covering 23 aircraft as of 4 May.
Under the Cape Town Convention, aircraft owners can request their de-registration and export – known as ‘IDERA’ – in the event of lease payment defaults.