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India’s Go First needs funds to resume operations, external overseer tells staff

NEW DELHI, May 11 (Reuters) – Go Airlines (India) needs to raise funds to resume operations, its newly appointed resolution professional told employees of the troubled low cost carrier on Thursday, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Recently rebranded as Go First, India’s fourth largest carrier was granted bankruptcy protection on Wednesday by a tribunal in New Delhi.

The tribunal also appointed Abhilash Lal of the consultancy firm Alvarez & Marsal as its interim resolution professional to oversee the company’s affairs and revive the airline’s business within six months.

“We’re working on a very tight schedule, we have to get the business back running… We have to raise the funds to do it,” the source quoted Lal as telling employees in a virtual townhall meeting.

Aircraft lessors have also stepped up pressure on the airline, with requests made to the aviation regulator to return about 40 Go First planes after rental payments were missed, but the bankruptcy court has imposed a moratorium on any recoveries.

Lal said that his oversight won’t impact daily operations and the top executive roles will not be changed while the company continues as a going concern, according to the source, who was not authorised to speak to media and declined to be identified.

Go First did not respond to a request for comment.

The airline has said its financial woes are due to “faulty” Pratt & Whitney engines that grounded about half its 54 Airbus (AIR.PA) A320neos.

The U.S. engine maker, part of Raytheon Technologies (RTX.N), has said that Go First’s allegations were “without merit”.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra Writing by Tanvi Mehta
Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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