Go First has approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking permission to refund money to passengers who had booked their tickets for travel on and after May 3, the day when the cash-strapped airline suspended operations.
The Resolution professional of Go First has filed a new application before the Delhi bench of NCLT, requesting “to permit the applicant/CD to make payment of refund to passengers of the CD whose airline tickets have been cancelled since May 3, 2023.” Applicant here refers to resolution professional and CD refers to corporate debtor or Go First.
The application is scheduled to be heard by an NCLT bench comprising Mahendra Khandelwal and Rahul P Bhatnagar on Monday.
If permitted by the insolvency tribunal, this would be a significant relief for those air passengers, whose money is stuck with the Go First after the initiation of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) against the air carrier.
Go First had stopped flying May 3, 2023 and had approached voluntarily for initiation of CIRP against it, as it was unable to fly due to technical difficulties faced by the non-availability of engines from Pratt & Whitney.
On May 10, the NCLT admitted the plea of Go First to initiate voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings.
Earlier, several air passengers had approached NCLT directly by writing e-mail requests/phone calls for refunds of booked cancelled tickets.
On this, the NCLT had issued an advisory earlier this month on July 3, asking them to approach the RP to claim a refund as per the procedure of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
“It is requested that all the requests/claims for refund or any other related issues may be sent to the RP mentioned above as per the provisions of the IBC,” it said.
Last week, NCLT rejected the claims of the lessors of aircraft and engines of Go First requesting to restrain it from commercial flying and held that aircraft are available for resumption of operations since aviation regulator DGCA has not deregistered them.
NCLT held that physical possession of the aircraft/engines would be “indisputably” with Go First and lessors cannot claim possession during the CIRP of the carrier.
The tribunal also declined the lessors’ pleas for inspection of their leased aeroplanes and engines and strongly reiterated that it was the responsibility of the Resolution Professional to maintain them at the highest levels of efficiency/safety.
“The physical possession of the aircrafts/engines is indisputably with the corporate debtor (Go First). Therefore, in terms of Section 14(1)(d), the applicants would not be within their rights to claim possession of these aircrafts/engines,” the NCLT bench said in its 29-page long order passed on the petitions filed by several lessors of Go First.
“The moratorium prohibits the recovery of the aircraft/engines by the lessors (applicants) from the corporate debtor,” it added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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