Saturday, June 03, 2023

NCLT to hear pleas of 3 Go First lessors

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) will on June 5 hear applications by three Go First aircraft lessors for repossession of the aircraft leased to the cash-strapped airline over non-payment of dues.

While BOC Aviation (Ireland) Limited filed an application during the week, Jackson Square Aviation Ireland Limited and Engine Lease Finance BV have filed new pleas in the NCLT, the tribunal's causelist shows. A causelist is a list of cases that are up for hearing in a court or a tribunal.

Though BOC Aviation's application was listed for hearing twice during the week, it couldn’t be taken up due to the non-availability of the bench. The case was adjourned to June 5.

The application was filed after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on May 22 upheld Go First's insolvency protection, which imposes a freeze on assets.

It directed the lessors to file a plea in the NCLT to ascertain the status of leases terminated before the cash-strap airline voluntarily submitted for bankruptcy.

The lessors have been saying that they terminated leases before the insolvency proceedings and the moratorium couldn’t be applied to them. Once the lease was terminated, Go First couldn’t have operated the aircraft, which must be returned to them, they have said.

The appellate tribunal also allowed the Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) to move the NCLT on the issues of leased aircraft.

The NCLAT directed the NCLT to decide the applications of the lessors and IRP without being influenced by any observations made by it.

On May 10, the NCLT bench at Delhi admitted Go First's voluntary plea to initiate the insolvency resolution process.

The tribunal appointed an IRP while suspending the board and put a moratorium on the debt-ridden airline's financial obligations.

Founded by billionaire Nusli Wadia, Go First, formerly GoAir, filed for bankruptcy on May 2, blaming US engine maker Pratt & Whitney for the grounding of half of its fleet.

03/06/2023 SN Thyagarajan/Moneycontrol

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