Go First likely to raise money via IPO to manage stressed financials

by IANS |

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Go First airline with a fleet size of 57 aircraft is a major player in the Indian aviation sector. While its latest available financial results talk about stressed financials, industry sources said that the airline is likely to raise money through an initial public offering (IPO) with air travel now recovering from the pandemic blues.

Incidentally, Go First reported a few incidents of engineering malfunctioning in recent times.

The aviation regulator recently ordered grounding of its planes after two of its aircraft witnessed technical glitches leading to their diversion on July 19.

With a fleet size of 57 aircraft, Go First recorded 78.7 per cent occupancy in June. The airline reported a market share of 9.5 per cent during the same month.

When asked whether entry of new players, including Akasa Air and Jet Airways, has led to man-power shortage, a Go First spokesperson said, "Go First is adequately staffed with experienced employees at all service departments, including pilots, engineering staff, inflight crew, airport services and all other operational functions."

As per latest available financials, the airline reported a loss of Rs 923 crore during April-September 2021 though its total revenue rose by 105 per cent to Rs 1,202.90 crore during the same period.

About the financial stress most of the airlines are facing, aviation consultant Harsh Vardhan said that most of the Indian airlines are running into losses since 2008.

"The cost of operation is high in India, while aviation fuel rates are also on the higher side. Cash flow and liquidity have been major issues, particularly during the two-year Covid period. In many airlines, suppliers of spares have not been paid completely, disturbing the supply chain," he said.

Meanwhile, the airline spokesperson quoted above said that at Go First, safety of its passengers and crew is of paramount importance and the airline lays utmost emphasis on providing a safe environment to its passengers.

On passenger safety, the spokesperson said, "Go First accords highest priority to safety of passengers and as per the standard procedure, all necessary preventive maintenance checks are carried out at periodic intervals. The aircraft inspection and maintenance practices are in line with the DGCA standards and all international and national aviation norms."

Go First, which has been expanding its network, announced direct flight services between Kochi and Abu Dhabi on June 28.

Go First, which is a part of the Mumbai-based Wadia Group, commenced its operations in November 2005 and has completed 16 years of successful operations.

Of its fleet of 57 aircraft, 52 are fuel efficient engine powered A320NEOs.

"Our fleet of 57 aircraft is the youngest fleet in India. The average age of the fleet is hardly 36 months and the technical reliability of the fleet is above 99.6 per cent," said the airline spokesperson.

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