- Missing parts from at least two of Go First's aircraft have been reported after an inspection by its lessor.
- Go First's relationship with its lessors has deteriorated due to non-payment of leases over the last few months.
- The airline's resumption plans are threatened by a shrinking workforce, with hundreds of pilots leaving and employees serving notice periods.
In another development that could further sour the relationship between Go First and its lessors, important parts are reportedly missing from at least two of its aircraft. One of Go First’s lessors has raised concerns regarding this and wants to take back the planes to avoid further losses.
Side stick and engine fan blades missing
One of Go First’s lessors, ACG Aircraft Leasing, has approached an Indian court saying that crucial parts are missing from at least two of its Airbus A320 aircraft currently in possession of Go First.
According to a report by Reuters, the Ireland-based lessor’s inspection of the planes showed that the captain’s sidestick, a tiller that helps steer the aircraft on the ground, and an escape slide have been removed from the aircraft. A partly missing toilet seat and engine fan blades that were “completely missing” were also some of the complaints raised in the court.
ACG Aircraft Leasing approached the Delhi High Court and submitted pictures of two aircraft to support its findings and requested the planes' repossession. The court has not yet taken a decision on the matter.
Go First’s relationship with its lessors has deteriorated significantly since its grounding. The carrier’s aircraft lessors, which also include Standard Chartered's Pembroke Aircraft Leasing, SMBC Aviation, and BOC Aviation, are worried about the fate of their planes and the losses that are piling up due to non-payment of leases.
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Go First’s insolvency resolution process has given it protection from losing aircraft until its fate can be decided. Some of the lessors, however, have pointed out that India’s aviation regulator needs to follow the IDERA convention, under which aircraft must be de-registered and given back to the lessors if an airline fails to make payments.
The latest reports of parts missing from Go First aircraft will likely make matters worse. There have already been discussions about the reduced confidence among global aircraft lessors in dealing with Indian airlines because of what has happened in the last few months.
Meanwhile, another major threat to Go First’s flight resumption plan is its constantly shrinking workforce. The airline has already been instructed by the DGCA to start small with around 15 aircraft and a little over 110 daily flights.
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But with more than 500 of its 600 pilots leaving and many more employees serving notice periods, the airline will likely have to scale down its resumption plans even further. The Deccan Herald quotes a person familiar with the matter as saying,
“This will further make revival difficult as even if the airline gets the funds, the remaining aircrew are not enough to meet and maintain the DGCA approved schedule.”
Indeed, having an adequate and skilled workforce is an immediate priority for Go First, particularly in an environment when other Indian airlines are aggressively attracting aviation talents to fuel their own growth.
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