A group of aircraft lessors of cash-strapped Go First presented their case before the Delhi High Court, on Friday, seeking the deregistration of their planes by the aviation regulator DGCA. The lessors told the high court that the denial of deregistration by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is “illegitimate”, reported PTI.
The report said that after over an hour and half long arguments presented by the lessors, Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju scheduled the next hearing for May 30. The high court also instructed all parties involved to submit their written submissions one day prior to the hearing.
Accipiter Investments Aircraft 2 Limited, EOS Aviation 12 (Ireland) Limited, Pembroke Aircraft Leasing 11 Limited, and SMBC Aviation Capital Limited are among the lessors who have approached the Delhi HC over the matter.
Due to the ongoing insolvency resolution proceedings and a moratorium on financial obligations and asset transfers of Go First, these lessors are currently unable to deregister their leased aircraft and retrieve them.
The lawyers representing the lessors told the HC that they had requested the DGCA for the deregistration of their aircraft, but their pleas were denied. They had not received any communication directly from the DGCA. However, upon checking the regulator’s website, they discovered that their deregistration requests had been rejected.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for one of the lessors, said the aircraft was its property and an interim resolution professional (IRP) has no power to take over assets of a third party, the report said.
Also Read: Go First Crisis: Airline Cancels Flights Till May 28 Due To Operational Reasons
Adding that Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, representing EOS Aviation 12 (Ireland) Limited, said NCLAT cannot deal with the issue of deregistration of aircraft and the remedy lies under Article 226 of the Constitution as the issue is between the lessor and the DGCA.
Another lawyer told the HC that under Irrevocable De-registration and Export Request Authorisations (IDERA), it was mandatory for the DGCA to deregister the aircraft at their request.
On May 10, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) granted permission for Go First to proceed with voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings. The NCLAT, on May 22, upheld the order issued by the principal bench of NCLT in Delhi, which had previously accepted Go First’s plea for voluntary insolvency resolution and appointed an interim resolution professional (IRP) to suspend the company’s board.
Several lessors have approached aviation regulator DGCA for deregistration and repossession of Go First’s 45 planes. Go First stopped flying on May 3. The flight cancellation has been extended till May 28.