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Ajay Singh, Busy Bee Airways submit bid to acquire grounded Go First

The airline recently trimmed its workforce by 15% amid delays in salary, PF & TDS payment of employees.

NEW DELHI : Ajay Singh, Chairman and managing director of SpiceJet, and Busy Bee Airways have jointly submitted a bid for grounded airline GoFirst on Friday (Feb 16, 2024).

The bid has been submitted by Singh in his personal capacity along with Busy Bee Airways, a Delhi-based non-scheduled air transport operator. Pran Sathiadasan, a Director of Busy Bee Airways, is also Director of commercial ops, South East Asia at flydubai.

Jaideep Mirchandani’s UAE-based Sky One has also submitted a bid for Go First. The submission of two bids comes days after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) extended deadline for completion of corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) of beleaguered Go First by 60 days.

Singh’s bid to acquire another low-cost carrier (Go First) is expected to draw eyeballs as the businessman and his loss-making airline is involved in multiple legal disputes with the former promoter, creditors and lessors over non-payment of dues. It is facing difficulties in raising funds to overcome operational challenges and expedite its growth plans. The airline recently trimmed its workforce by 15% amid delays in salary, PF & TDS payment of employees.

“Singh had earlier submitted a bid for Air India and now he is going after Go First. It is difficult to understand how would he finance such a big acquisitions given his airline is loaded with debt,” said an aviation industry analyst requesting anonymity. SpiceJet said it is in the midst of a revival plan, having completed the first tranche of Rs 744 crore, with additional subscriptions pending regulatory approval. It has initiated the process to raise an additional Rs 1,000 crore.

Singh said, “I firmly believe GoFirst holds immense potential and can be revitalised to work in synergy with SpiceJet, benefiting both carriers. Apart from coveted slots at domestic and international airports, international traffic rights, and an order for over 100 Airbus Neo planes, GoFirst is a trusted and valued brand among flyers.”

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