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Go First has lengthy history of missing financial obigations, says Pratt & Whitney official
New Delhi: After Go First filed for bankruptcy blaming jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney (P&W) for grounding half of its fleet, the US aerospace major hit back stating that the budget airline has a "lengthy history of missing its financial obligations."
A source at P&W told ANI that the budget airline has a lengthy history of missing its financial obligations to Pratt & Whitney. In a statement the US engine maker said it was "committed to the success of our airline customers, and we continue to prioritise delivery schedules for all customers. P&W is complying with the March 2023 arbitration ruling related to Go First. As this is now a matter of litigation, we will not comment further."
On Tuesday, Go First Airlines said that due to the non-supply of engines by Pratt & Whitney operations will remain cancelled.
"Go First is facing financial crunch due to non-supply of engines by US-based jet engines manufacturer Pratt and Whitney (P&W) that has forced grounding more than 50 planes," a Go First official told ANI.
Amid the confusion, passengers who booked their tickets with the airlines were left in the lurch. Go First Airlines announced that its flight operations will remain cancelled from May 3 to May 5 adding that a full refund will be issued to the passengers.
The official media account of Go First Airlines took to Twitter and said, "Due to operational reasons, GoFirst flights for 3rd, 4th and 5th May 2023 have been cancelled. We sincerely apologise to our loyal customers. We assure you that we will be back with more information soon. A full refund will be issued through the original mode of payment shortly".
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the Government of India has been assisting Go First Airlines in every possible manner but it is incumbent upon the airline to make alternative travel arrangements for passengers so that they do not face inconvenience.
On Tuesday, India's aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a show cause notice to India's low-cost carrier Go First Airlines for not providing prior intimation of the cancellation of flights on May 3 and May 4 to DGCA.
"It has come to the notice of DGCA that Go First has cancelled all scheduled flights of 3rd May and 4th May 2023, respectively. No prior intimation has been given to DGCA for such cancellations which is non-compliance with conditions for approval of schedule," an official statement issued by DGCA said.
DGCA has sought a reply from Go First Airlines within 24 hours of the issuance of the show cause notice. In this regard, Go First Airlines said that due to the non-supply of engines by the US-based Jet engines manufacturer, operations will remain cancelled.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Go First had filed an application with the National Company Law Tribunal in New Delhi.
In the statement, the budget airline said, "GO FIRST has had to take this step due to the ever-increasing number of failing engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney's International Aero Engines, LLC, which has resulted in GO FIRST having to ground 25 aircraft (equivalent to approximately 50 per cent of its Airbus A320neo aircraft fleet) as of 1 May 2023."
The airline said the percentage of grounded aircraft due to Pratt & Whitney's faulty engines grew from 7 per cent in December 2019 to 31 per cent in December 2020 to 50 per cent in December 2022. It said this was despite Pratt & Whitney making several ongoing assurances over the years, which it repeatedly failed to meet.
The budget airline said it was forced to apply to the NCLT after Pratt & Whitney, the exclusive engine supplier for GO FIRST's Airbus A320neo aircraft fleet, refused to comply with an award issued by an emergency arbitrator appointed in accordance with the 2016 Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
"That order directed Pratt & Whitney to take all reasonable steps to release and dispatch without delay to GO FIRST at least 10 serviceable spare leased engines by 27 April 2023," the airline said, adding, "a further 10 spare leased engines per month until December 2023, with the objective of GO FIRST returning to full operations and achieving GO FIRST's financial rehabilitation and survival."
The airline said, "If Pratt & Whitney were to comply with the orders in the emergency arbitrator's award, GO FIRST would be able to return to full operations by August/September 2023." (ANI)