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NCLAT verdict on aircraft lessors' petitions against Go First insolvency today

22 May 2023, 12:00 pm

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) is set to give its verdict on petitions filed by three aircraft lessors against cash-strapped Go First airline's voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings at 2pm today.

Market participants and investors are awaiting eagerly for the NCLAT verdict, which will have a huge impact on the embattled airline and its lessors.

More importantly, Monday’s verdict would give a clarity on whether lessors are allowed to take control of the aircraft or if the fleet remains under the airline's possession.

On May 15, a two-member bench headed by chairperson Justice Ashok Bhushan reserved its ruling after completing the hearing on the three petitions. The bench had asked the parties to submit additional documents, if any, in the next 48 hours.

The appellate tribunal heard a batch of pleas filed by SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd, GY Aviation, and SFV Aircraft Holdings, all of whom have leased about 21 aircraft to Go First.

As of date, several lessors have moved to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for deregistration and repossession of Go First’s 45 planes. The airline ceased its operations on May 3.

Senior advocate Arun Kathpalia representing SMBC Aviation said the average lease rent of each aircraft is around $200,000 for a month and with more than 50 aircraft, the monthly bill would be $10 million, adding that the “cost of this misadventure is enormous, PTI had reported earlier this month.

Earlier, the Delhi-based bench of the NCLT appointed an interim resolution professional to supervise Go First's affairs and suspended the airline's board as part of the insolvency resolution process.

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