Wadia Group-backed airline Go First has come under the scrutiny of aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) due to increase in passenger inconvenience due to non-existent flights and massive flight delays.
There has been a surge in passenger complaints on social media platforms, where passengers arrive at an airport and find that the flight they are supposed to be on does not exist, two people with knowledge of the development said.
“Over the past few weeks, there have been not one but several instances where passengers have arrived at the airport to find that the flight does not exist and instead of giving a reason for the same, they have only been given the option of a refund. It may be a temporary impact of aircraft availability issues, but passengers are inconvenienced,” said an airport official on condition of anonymity.
The airline has already reduced its winter flight schedule, which took effect from October 30 to March 25, due to ongoing supply chain disruptions affecting engine and spare parts deliveries. According to the winter flight schedule published by the DGCA, the airline has been approved to operate 1,390 departures per week, a decrease of around 40% from the 2021 winter schedule and also at pre-pandemic levels.
The latest issue with the airline concerns its punctuality. Go First posted one of the worst timed performances on November 11th and 12th. Nearly 70% of the Mumbai-based airline’s flights faced delays on November 11 and it worsened on November 12 when 82% of Go First flights departed late.
The airline has also sought loans under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for its operations in the recent past and is expected to apply for more funds under the scheme. The Department of Financial Services (DFS) had revised the ECLGS for the aviation sector in October, raising the cheaper credit limit to ₹1,500 crore from ₹400 crore to help the sector overcome cash flow problems.