Pratt & Whitney on Thursday opposed Go Airlines (India) Ltd's push to enforce an arbitration ruling in an engine dispute, with the U.S. company arguing in a Delaware court that the Indian airline's bankruptcy filing has raised risks for it.
The Indian airline, widely known as Go First, approached the Delaware court to enforce an arbitration order in Singapore against Pratt & Whitney, which it blames for its financial troubles by arguing the U.S. firm failed to supply engines on time.
The arbitrator on March 30 had ordered Pratt to assist Go First and supply serviceable spare engines to the airline, which has said it grounded half of its 54 Airbus A320neo planes due to engine issues.
Opposing enforcement of the arbitration award in Delaware, International Aero Engines (IAE), which counts Pratt as a shareholder, argued dynamics of the dispute have changed and the engine maker faces more risks after Go First was granted bankruptcy protection by an Indian tribunal on Wednesday.
"Go First’s recent bankruptcy filing has radically changed the field of play in terms of Go First’s need for relief and IAE’s risk," its filing stated, asking the court to put on hold or dimiss the airline's request.
"The risks for IAE, which were high to begin with, have increased significantly since Go First’s bankruptcy."
Go First did not respond to a request for comment.
While the Indian airline has blamed Pratt for its financial troubles and subsequent bankruptcy filing, the engine maker argued that claim is unfounded and the airline's years-long failure to pay for the maintenance and lease charges led to the necessary suspension of services.
Go First was not a "victim in need of urgent legal redress" but in reality an "insolvent airline that materially breached its contractual obligations," it said in the filing.
(Reporting by Jahnavi Nidumolu and Mike Scarcella in Bengaluru and New York; Additional reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Stephen Coates)