Almost a year after Go First stopped flying, civil aviation regulator DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) on Wednesday de-registered most of its aircraft on orders from the Delhi high court issued last week.

The defunct airline had 54 aircraft in its fleet that have been grounded since May 3 last year. (Reuters File Photo)

The defunct airline had 54 aircraft in its fleet that have been grounded since May 3 last year.

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Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju of the Delhi high court directed the DGCA to process the lessors’ de-registration applications within five working days. It also directed the DGCA and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to assist the lessors in accessing airports for flying back their aircraft.

The low-cost airline, before its crisis, was operating 26 of the total 54 aircraft due to Pratt & Whitney (PW) engine issues. It had a market share of 6% before it was grounded, causing trouble to the passengers and adversely impacting the aviation industry. The airline’s plea for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings was admitted by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on May 10 last year.

Lessors who had leased their aircraft to Go First had moved the court to take the aircraft back.

While officials close to the matter said that the DGCA had de-registered all the 54 aircraft, the regulator’s website on Wednesday had only a few de-registration notices uploaded.

Brajesh Singh, president, Arthur D Little India Pvt Ltd, a boutique consultancy firm, said, “Lessors have first rights on leased aircraft and the court’s direction is highly appreciated… The key question is about the ‘technical ability to fly’ of these aircraft which is addressable once the lessors can access them. The process may be accelerated after the directions from the court.”

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