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Airline crew stranded in Phuket & Bangkok as carrier goes bankrupt

PHOTO: Facebook/Phuket International Airport - HKT

Crew from the stricken low-cost carrier Go First, originally founded as GoAir, are stuck in Phuket and several other locations after their employer went bankrupt.

Go First Airlines, founded as GoAir Airlines, was an Indian ultra-low-cost airline based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was owned by the Indian business conglomerate Wadia Group. In October 2017, it was the fifth largest airline in India with an 8.4% passenger market share.

According to a report by India’s Business Today, employees have found themselves stranded in Phuket and other locations including Bangkok, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, following the airline’s collapse.

It’s understood the airline has filed for bankruptcy and suspended all flights between May 3 and May 5, leaving several cabin crew and pilots stuck at locations they were supposed to be flying out of. An anonymous source is quoted as saying that in the case of some locations, stranded individuals don’t have the necessary visas to leave the airport.

“Go First had flights scheduled from Abu Dhabi Wednesday through Friday, and there was a flight from Kuwait on Thursday. Some flights were also scheduled from Bangkok, Muscat and Phuket. Since those flights have been suspended, the staff is left stranded there.”

It’s understood that crew are also stuck at various locations in India, with one cabin crew member describing the uncertainty of not knowing when they will be able to fly out.

“I got on a flight to Jaipur earlier this week and was supposed to fly out to Bengaluru on Wednesday. But since the flight has been suspended, me and my crew members are left here. We don’t even know if the flights will continue from Saturday.”

On Tuesday, Go First filed for bankruptcy as a result of increasing losses, with the carrier issuing a statement blaming engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney.

“In the absence of Pratt & Whitney providing the required number of spare leased engines in accordance with the order issued by the emergency arbitrator, Go First is no longer in a position to continue to meet its financial obligations.”

For its part, Pratt & Whitney has responded, claiming the airline has a “long history of non-payment”.

According to the Business Today report, Go First is the first major Indian carrier to go bankrupt since Jet Airways ceased operations in 2019.

SOURCE: Business Today

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