Grounded Indian airline Go First's revival could be derailed if a court agrees to demands of aircraft lessors, who are seeking certain records after jet parts went missing or faced deterioration, according to legal filings from the carrier.
Foreign lessors have been locked in a legal tussle to repossess their aircraft after Go First was granted bankruptcy protection in May, which, as per Indian law, imposed a block on the recovery of 50-plus grounded Airbus planes.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Capital and ACG Aircraft Leasing recently sought a Delhi court's intervention by complaining some parts had been allegedly "robbed" or the jets were corroding.
The lessors, which are only allowed an occasional inspection of the grounded leased planes, asked the court to force Go First to supply maintenance and aircraft preservation records for their jets.
Go First has contested lessors demands in its first response in court in the matter, saying it would be a time-consuming process that would hit its revival, legal filings by its bankruptcy officer, Shailendra Ajmera, showed.
Such requests "have far reaching implications on the day-to-day affairs of Go Air and will have a direct bearing on the going concern status of Go Air," Ajmera said in court filings, asking for the lessors' pleas to be rejected.
Getting such records is a "time taking exercise and would significantly divert the resources" of Go First, "from resumption of operations ... to provision/inspection of documents/records to the lessors," he added.
The filings, submitted to the court on Sept. 8 and Sept. 17, are not public and are being reported by Reuters for the first time.
Go First and the two lessors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The airline's submissions are set to be heard later on Friday.
The world's second-largest aircraft lessor, SMBC, which also has some leased planes to Go, warned in May that India's decision to block leasing firms from reclaiming the airline's planes would jolt the market and spark a confidence crisis. (Reporting by Arpan Chaturvedi and Aditi Shah; Writing by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Jamie Freed)