NCLAT orders more Go First lessors to approach NCLT for recovery of planes

NCLAT orders more Go First lessors to approach NCLT for recovery of planes

The number of aircraft owners challenging the insolvency proceedings of the crisis-hit airline has risen to seven

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has directed three more aircraft lessors of Go First to approach the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) over their claims for possession of aircraft. These related to those aircraft whose lease was terminated prior to the initiation of insolvency proceedings against the Wadia Group entity.

The tribunal ordered Accipiter Investments Aircraft 2, Eos Aviation 12 (Ireland) and ACG Aircraft Leasing Ireland to go to NCLT over the applicability of the moratorium on their aircraft.

The tribunal stated, “The facts and submissions raised in the appeals are the same as considered and decided by our judgment and 22 May 2023 order. Therefore, these also deserve to be decided in the same terms.”

On May 22, NCLAT upheld the order of the Delhi-based Principal Bench of NCLT, which earlier this month admitted the plea of the airline to initiate voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings and appointed an interim resolution professional (IRP) to suspend the company’s board.

NCLATs last order came over a batch of petitions filed by four lessors – SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd, GY Aviation, SFV Aircraft Holdings, and Engine Leasing Finance BV that own around 22 airplanes.

Meanwhile, Accipiter Investments, Eos Aviation, and ACG Aircraft approached NCLAT before another bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan (chairperson) and Naresh Salecha (technical member).

The matter in which the order was passed earlier, had come up before a bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Barun Mitra (technical member).

Recently, the IRP and the suspended board of Go First filed caveats before the Supreme Court to ensure being heard before passing any order over petitions filed by the four aircraft lessors.

Meanwhile, disposing of the pleas of the four lessors through a 40-page-long common order, NCLAT said they were at “liberty to file” appropriate application before NCLT under Section 65 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) with “appropriate pleadings and material” regarding their claims.

Until now, several lessors have approached the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation regulator, for deregistration and repossession of the 45 planes of Go First, which discontinued its operations on 3 May.

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