India’s aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has reportedly put on hold the requests of Go First’s lessors to repossess their aircraft. According to a Reuters report, DGCA said in a court filing that as the airline has filed for bankruptcy, the assets freeze supersedes the requests to repossess aircraft.
The report stated that DGCA has not rejected the lessors’ requests but has put it on hold till the moratorium period ends for the airline, which will continue at least for next six months.
Go First’s lessors include SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd, GY Aviation, SFV Aircraft Holdings and Engine Leasing Finance BV.
This comes after the airline extended the cancellation of its flights till June 4. Go First has not flown since May 3, a day after it had filed for bankruptcy.
National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had admitted the bankruptcy plea of the crisis-hit airline and granted it moratorium on its financial obligations. NCLT order was challenged in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) by airline’s lessors but the appellate authority sided with NCLT and dismissed the challenge.
However, NCLAT had granted lessors the liberty to approach NCLT again over termination of lease issue.
The stance of DGCA on lessors’ requests has put in spotlight the Cape Town Convention which India had signed. However, it is not a law in the country as Parliament did not ratify the convention. The convention seeks to protect repossession of aircraft but according to the report, DGCA filing says that local laws prevail over any international treaty.
Last week, DGCA had asked Go First to submit a revival plan within 30 days. The revival plan has to furnish details about availability of aircraft fleet, pilots and other staff required to sustain operations.