Go First, the Indian low-cost carrier, has filed for voluntary insolvency proceedings as recurring engine problems with Pratt & Whitney have caused severe disruptions to the airline’s operations. The airline has cancelled all flights for three days starting Wednesday, causing inconvenience to thousands of passengers.
In a message to employees on Tuesday, Go First CEO Kaushik Khona acknowledged the crisis caused by Pratt & Whitney’s failure to supply reliable engines and assured that the carrier is doing everything possible to navigate the situation with utmost care and concern for all staff.
The engine problems have been plaguing Go First for months, leading to multiple flight cancellations and delays. The airline has been forced to ground several planes due to issues with the Pratt & Whitney engines, which have a history of technical failures and safety concerns. The latest incident involved an aircraft that suffered an engine failure during takeoff in Ahmedabad on April 28, prompting Go First to ground all its Airbus A320neo planes equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines.
Go First’s decision to file for insolvency comes as a surprise, as the airline was reportedly in talks with potential investors to raise funds to stay afloat. However, the worsening engine crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic have made it difficult for the airline to attract investors or generate revenue.
The insolvency process will allow Go First to restructure its debts and operations, with the goal of returning to profitability in the long term. The airline will be managed by a resolution professional appointed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), and all its assets and liabilities will be subject to the insolvency proceedings.
The move is expected to have significant implications for Go First’s employees, who will be affected by the airline’s restructuring plans and potential job losses. Khona has assured employees that the airline will do everything possible to minimize the impact on their livelihoods and provide them with support during this difficult time.
Go First is the latest airline to be hit by the ongoing engine crisis involving the Pratt & Whitney engines, which are used in several aircraft models, including the Airbus A320neo. Several airlines worldwide, including IndiGo, have experienced similar issues with the engines, leading to disruptions and safety concerns.
The engine problems have been attributed to a design flaw that causes premature wear and tear of certain components, leading to engine failures and in-flight shutdowns. Pratt & Whitney has been working on a fix for the problem, but the process has been slow and expensive.
The engine crisis has also raised questions about the safety and reliability of the Airbus A320neo, which has become a popular choice for airlines due to its fuel efficiency and range. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued several airworthiness directives related to the engine problems, requiring airlines to inspect and replace certain components.