NCLAT allows Go First lessor to inspect planes

The tribunal’s approval was based on observation in its 18 August order in the case of Engine Lease Finance BV, an engine lessor, where NCLAT granted it the right to access their engines.

Krishna Yadav

New Delhi: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Thursday allowed Jackson Square Aviation Ireland Ltd, the lessor for Go First, to carry out an inspection of their grounded aircraft.

The tribunal’s approval was based on observation in its 18 August order in the case of Engine Lease Finance BV, where NCLAT granted it similar rights.

In the engine lessor case, the NCLAT modified the NCLT’s 26 July order that allowed Go First to operate the leased aircraft. In its own directive, the NCLAT disagreed with the part of the NCLT’s order that restricted the lessor from inspecting the engines. In its 18 August order, the Appellate Tribunal directed the RP to set an inspection date within 10 days.

The lessor filed this latest plea against the resolution professional (RP) of the airline, Shailendra Ajmera, challenging the NCLT July 26 order.

According to media reports, Go First’s Ireland-based lessor, ACG Aircraft Leasing, informed the court that critical components, including fan blades, escape slides, and other vital parts, are missing from at least two aircraft. ACG submitted pictures and details of the missing items from two Airbus A320planes in a non-public filing at the Delhi High Court on July 28th.

The list of missing items includes the captain’s “side stick” used for flying the aircraft, a tiller for ground steering, engine fan blades that were “completely missing,” a partially absent toilet seat, and a removed escape slide.

Meanwhile, the case regarding deregistration of the grounded aircraft, filed by the lessors, is undergoing regular hearings before the Delhi High Court’s single bench. Both the high court’s division bench and the Supreme Court upheld the single bench’s ruling, permitting lessors to conduct inspections of parked aircraft.

Mint earlier reported how despite approvals from the aviation regulator DGCA, Go First RP Shailendra Ajmera has not been able to raise funds due to a Delhi High Court order.

The airline has approached the CoC for an immediate infusion of  ₹100 crore into the airline and to be able to service its insurance and other statutory obligations.

Go First, earlier owned by the Wadia Group, filed for insolvency attributing financial troubles to Pratt and Whitney’s faulty engines. NCLT admitted the case on May 10, suspending the board, and imposing a moratorium on the airline’s financial obligations.

The moratorium prompted several Go First aircraft lessors, including SMBCAviation Capital, SFV Aircraft Holdings, and GY Aviation Lease, to move to the NCLAT. However, the NCLAT rejected their plea to stay NCLT proceedings.

Subsequently, lessors like Pembroke Aircraft Leasing 11 Ltd, SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd, Accipiter Investments Aircraft 2 Ltd, EOS Aviation 12 (Ireland) Ltd, SFV Aircraft Holdings IRE 9 DAC Ltd, ACG Aircraft Leasing Ireland Ltd, and DAE SY 22 13 Ireland Designated Activity Company approached the Delhi High Court. They sought the deregistration of aircraft leased to Go First.

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Updated: 31 Aug 2023, 11:32 AM IST

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