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DGCA Initiates Deregistration of Go First Aircraft Post Delhi HC Order

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In Short:

The DGCA is deregistering aircraft leased to Go First, owned by Wadia, following a Delhi High Court order. 43 aircraft have been processed, and 11 are pending. This could lead to the airline’s downfall as lenders consider liquidation. Blue Sky and Star Rising, Dublin-based lessors, have requested deregistration of 11 aircraft. IDERA provisions state regulators must deregister and authorize repossession within five days of a default.


DGCA Initiates Aircraft Deregistration for Wadia-owned Go First

Exciting news from the aviation industry! The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has kickstarted the process of deregistering aircraft leased to Wadia-owned Go First following a recent ruling by the Delhi High Court.

Aircraft Deregistration Process

According to insiders, the DGCA has already approved the deregistration of 43 aircraft, with 11 more pending requests in the pipeline. This move sets the stage for the airline’s potential downfall as lenders consider the option of liquidation.

As per businessline reports, Bluesky 19 Leasing Ltd and Star Rising Aviation, two Dublin-based lessors, have formally requested the deregistration and repossession of 11 aircraft leased to Go First. These requests were made through the Irrevocable Deregistration and Export Request Authorization (IDERA) provisions, as per filings on the DGCA website.

The IDERA Norms

Under the IDERA regulations, in cases of lease default, regulators are bound to deregister the aircraft and grant lessors the right to reclaim them within five working days of the request. Without legal intervention, Go First risks losing more than a third of its fleet in a matter of days.

The IDERA empowers lessors to deregister aircraft, repossess them, and transport them out in the event of lease payment defaults.

Aircraft Leased by Bluesky 19 Leasing Ltd and Star Rising Aviation

Both Bluesky 19 Leasing Ltd and Star Rising Aviation have leased AIRBUS A320-271N to Go First. Star Rising leased six aircraft with the registration numbers VT-WJN, VT-WJP, VT-WJR, VT-WJQ, VT-WJR, VT-WJQ. On the other hand, Blue Sky has leased five aircraft VT-WJJ, VT-WJM, VT-WJT, VT-WJS and VT-WJL.

The requests for deregistration from Bluesky 19 Leasing Ltd and Star Rising Aviation were submitted on May 9 and May 11, 2023, respectively. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had accepted Go First’s petition for voluntary insolvency on May 10, 2023. The airline’s Resolution Professional argued against deregistering the aircraft, citing their importance for the company’s revival, and highlighting the moratorium that had halted the deregistration process for all 54 aircraft.

Court Intervention and Order

Several lessors, including Pembroke Aviation, Accipiter Investments Aircraft 2, EOS Aviation, and SMBC Aviation, approached the Delhi High Court to demand the return of planes leased to the financially-struggling airline. They contested the DGCA’s delayed deregistration process.

After a lengthy legal battle, the Delhi High Court recently instructed the DGCA to expedite deregistration requests within five days.

businessline had previously hinted at lenders contemplating the liquidation of the airline. With this new court order in place, the liquidation process may gain momentum.

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