Following an audit by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), cash-strapped airline Go First has reduced the scope of its projected revival operations.
Details on following the DGCA audit, Go First reduces their revitalization strategy
After the DGCA shared 13 observations on its intention to resume operations, Go First, which has been grounded since the beginning of May, is reducing operations by approximately 30%.
The airline’s lack of sufficient pilots and technical staff for the scope of operations it had previously intended was recognized by the aviation regulator. The DGCA discovered that the airline lacked the necessary number of pilots who had received specialized training for high-altitude airfields like Leh.
Additionally, the DGCA brought up concerns about open legal matters, funding, reimbursements, and spare parts.
In a letter sent to the regulator on July 15, Go First’s resolution professional (RP), Shailendra Ajmera, acknowledged the DGCA’s observation of a pilot shortage and stated that the airline intends to begin operations with 15 aircraft and 114 daily flights.
He continued by saying that the airline would keep adding flights as and when they were able to “stabilize operations” and “add pilots”.
The airline currently intends to launch with five daily flights to Leh and three weekly flights to Thoise, Ajmera notified the regulator. Eight daily flights to Leh and three weekly defense charter flights to Thoise were part of the original schedule.
The original Go First strategy called for restarting operations on 22 airports and 78 itineraries with approximately 160 flights every day. With 26 aircraft, 22 of which would be used, and four remaining on standby, it intended to accomplish this.
Regarding reimbursements, the resolution specialist informed the DGCA that the airline has approximately Rs 110 crore in advance reservations and that it must handle refunds totaling more than Rs 500 crore for canceled flights until early July.
The regulator has inquired as to how the airline intends to reimburse this money, but no details have been provided.
According to the resolution specialist, agents will be able to purchase tickets using airline credits or money that has been blocked, and customers who booked directly will receive refunds from new cash flow created by new bookings.
However, the procedure can take four to five months.
On May 2, Go First filed for voluntary insolvency, blaming the malfunctioning engines produced by Pratt & Whitney for forcing the grounding of half of its Airbus A320neo fleet. Since May 3, the airline has ceased all flight operations.
The DGCA started a special examination of the airline’s facilities earlier this month to check that it complies with the conditions to resume flight operations.