HC directs DGCA to forthwith process applications of Go First’s lessors’ to deregister aircraft

New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to forthwith process the applications filed by several lessors for deregistration of their 54 planes so that they could take them back from the crisis-hit Go First airline.

The high court said the process shall be done in not later than five working days.

Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju also restrained the resolution professional (RP) appointed under the insolvency law to manage the airline, and its directors from moving or taking away the planes or spare parts, documents, records and any other material.

“DGCA shall forthwith and not later than five working days process the deregistration applications filed by the 54 aircrafts,” the court said.

The high court said the DGCA, AAI and its authorised representatives shall aid and assist the petitioner lessors and grant them access to the airports.

It said the lessors are permitted to export the aircraft as per the applicable rules and laws.

“DGCA shall facilitate export of aircraft by providing export certificates and all other documents,” it said.

The high court pronounced the judgement on petitions by several lessors seeking de-registration of their planes by aviation regulator DGCA so that they could take them back from the airline.

After pronouncement of the verdict, the counsel for some of the respondents urged the court to keep its directions in abeyance for a week.

However, the judge refused to do so and said “you find another court to put my directions in abeyance”.

Several aircraft lessors of Go First had earlier approached the single judge seeking deregistration of their planes by aviation regulator DGCA so that they could take them back from the airline.

Earlier, the NCLT-appointed resolution professional, tasked with managing Go First, had told the high court that returning aircraft to the lessors will render the airline, which has 7,000 employees to look after “dead”.

On May 10, 2023, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had admitted the airline’s voluntary insolvency resolution petition and appointed an interim resolution professional to manage the carrier.

With a moratorium in force on financial obligations and transfer of assets of Go First in the wake of the insolvency resolution proceedings, the lessors were unable to deregister and take back the aircraft leased to the carrier.

The lessors had earlier told the court that denial of deregistration by the DGCA was “illegitimate”.

Some of the lessors who have approached the high court are: Accipiter Investments Aircraft 2 Limited, EOS Aviation 12 (Ireland) Limited, Pembroke Aircraft Leasing 11 Limited, SMBC Aviation Capital Limited, SFV Aircraft Holdings IRE 9 DAC Ltd, ACG Aircraft Leasing Ireland Ltd and DAE SY 22 13 Ireland Designated Activity Company.

Besides, GY Aviation Lease 1722 Co Ltd, Jackson Square Aviation Ireland Ltd, Sky High XCV Leasing Company Ltd, Star Rising Aviation 13 Ltd, Bluesky 31 Leasing Company Ltd and Bluesky 19 Leasing Company Ltd have also approached the high court.

Go First stopped flying from May 3, 2023.

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