The resolution professional handling the insolvency of Go First (GOW, Mumbai International) has called for expressions of interest (EOI) to buy the airline. In an advertisement in Indian business newspapers on July 10, Shailendra Ajmera of Ernst & Young's New Delhi office has begun the first in a series of Indian insolvency law-mandated steps to sell the airline.

However, the advertisement is light on specifics, saying that Go First has assets located at various airports around India, employs around 4,200 people, and that its revenue in the 12 months to March 31, 2022, was INR41.83 billion rupees (USD506.2 million). The closing date for EOIs is August 9, 2023, with a short list of successful applicants released on August 19. The Hindu BusinessLine reports that the Wadia Group, which currently owns Go First, may bid for the airline. ch-aviation has contacted Ajmera's office for further details.

Go First suspended services in early May, filing for voluntary administration soon after, with the airline owing creditors approximately INR65 billion (USD786.6 million). In the 2021/22 fiscal year, Go First recorded a loss of INR10.08 billion (USD218.8 million) on revenues of INR41.84 billion (USD506.3 million) and had a negative net worth of INR32.22 billion (USD 390 million).

Notably, almost all of Go First's 54 aircraft are leased, with several lessors agitating for the return of their planes. Data from the ch-aviation fleets module shows at least 52 of the 54 planes are leased from 12 different lessors. India's National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has stopped lessors from retrieving their aircraft. An appeal by aircraft owners to the appellate tribunal was unsuccessful, although India's High Court granted certain of them access to their aircraft for maintenance and inspection purposes last week. Since then, Ajmera, on behalf of Go First, has filed an appeal to that High Court order.

Separately, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) made another interim ruling late last week, ordering Pratt & Whitney to supply Go First with five engines every month between August 1 and December 31, saying, "the respondent (Pratt & Whitney) must take all reasonable steps to release and dispatch to the claimant (Go First), without delay as they become available."

Go First blamed crippling Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engine supply issues when filing for insolvency. In April, approximately 50% of Go First's aircraft were grounded because of engine issues, growing from around 30% in late-2020. Go First maintains that the engine issues have cost it INR108 billion (USD1.3 billion) and have sued the engine manufacturer. The airline reportedly has dozens of Pratt & Whitney powerplants waiting for servicing at MRO facilities around India, dozens more defunct engines waiting to be retrieved, and expects another six engines to go out of service between now and November.

Go First began arbitration in Singapore earlier this year, seeking to have Pratt & Whitney abide by its contractual obligations. In a media statement released after last week's ruling, Pratt & Whitney said it would comply with the arbitration's ruling. However, it has previously challenged interim rulings, citing global supply chain issues and Go First's history of missed payments. The SIAC is due to hand down its final judgment later this month, and it is expected to be a decisive factor regarding the airline's future viability and sale prospects.