Go First, which filed for bankruptcy protection in May, is planning to recommence its operations by the end of this month and bring back 94 per cent of its daily flights, according to an insider. The airline has submitted a revival plan to the aviation regulator, DGCA, in which it proposes to operate 157 daily domestic flights, slightly fewer than the 167 it previously operated. The plan is awaiting approval from the regulator, and if it is granted this week, Go First hopes to resume flights within the next two weeks.
The airline is also awaiting approval from its creditors for additional funding, although the specific amount needed has not been disclosed.
Go Airlines, which rebranded as Go First two years ago, currently holds a 6.4 per cent share in the Indian aviation market. It plans to deploy 22 aircraft, reserving four for future needs. Despite losing some pilots during recent challenges, Go First still has over 500 pilots, which is sufficient to operate approximately 30 planes, negating the immediate need for additional hiring.
The airline has faced ongoing issues with Pratt & Whitney engines, which have caused premature failures and shutdowns in half of its Airbus SE A320neo fleet. Go First is pursuing USD 1.1 billion in compensation from the engine manufacturer through US arbitration, along with a request for the fulfilment of outstanding orders for 144 engines.
Regarding other airlines, IndiGo has more than 35 grounded aircraft due to a shortage of spare engines, while Deutsche Lufthansa AG has experienced engine troubles resulting in a third of its A220 fleet in Zurich being idled.
In an effort to focus on more profitable routes, Go First intends to discontinue services to less lucrative destinations such as Varanasi, Patna, Lucknow, and Ranchi, instead prioritising high-demand areas including Srinagar, Delhi, and Leh, where fares have increased during Go First’s absence.