Kaushik Khona, CEO of Indian low-cost carrier Go First Airways announced on May 2, 2023, that the airline is ceasing all operations following the filing of insolvency proceedings at the National Company Law Tribunal in Delhi.
Owned by the Wadia Group, Go First (formerly known as Go Air) was part of the first wave of low-cost airlines launched in India at the turn of the century. It was India’s fifth largest airline, with a market share of around 8%.
However, this number had gone down recently as the airline struggled to keep many of its planes in the air due to reliability issues affecting the Pratt & Whitney engines that powered its all-Airbus fleet. In the court filing, Go First stated that these engines issues had worsened over time.
While 7% of the fleet was affected in 2019, the share of its fleet that had to be grounded increased to 31% in December 2020 and rose to 50% in December 2022.
In the filing, the airline also expressed its dissatisfaction with what it alleges was an inability of the US firm to provide parts and spares or repair the troubled engines within a reasonable time period.
Go First also stated its readiness to restart service in August or September 2023 if Pratt & Whitney had managed to fix the affected engines.
In March 2023 the airline was reported to have been considering legal action against the American engine manufacturer.
Go First had a fleet of 61 A320-family aircraft and was expecting to keep adding more of the type, as it has placed a 144-strong order with the European manufacturer back in 2016.