• Tuesday, April 16, 2024


SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh, Busy Bee Airways, Sky One bid for Go First

Go First stopped flying on May 3, 2023 and its plea for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings was admitted by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on May 10 last year

Go First airline aircrafts, formerly known as GoAir, are seen parked at the apron of the Mumbai International Airport on May 9, 2023 (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

Ajay Singh, the head of SpiceJet, together with Busy Bee Airways and the Sharjah-based Sky One, have submitted bids for the bankrupt airline Go First, which ceased operations over nine months ago.

The announcement by Singh comes at a time when the crisis-hit SpiceJet is raising funds and rationalising costs, including by laying off more than 1,000 staff.

In a press release on Friday (16), SpiceJet said the bid for Go First has been submitted by Singh in his personal capacity, along with Busy Bee Airways Private Limited.

Travel portal EaseMyTrip’s co-founder and CEO Nishant Pitti is a majority shareholder in Busy Bee Airways.

Pitti said holding the majority shares of Busy Bee Airways in his personal capacity, he is supporting the “joint bid to resurrect the airline in the interest of the employees and all its stakeholders.”

Separately, Sky One FZE said it has also submitted a bid for Go First.

Go First stopped flying on May 3, 2023 and its plea for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings was admitted by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on May 10 last year.

“SpiceJet’s role as the operating partner for the new airline involves providing essential staff, services and industry expertise.

“This collaboration is anticipated to generate synergies between the two carriers, leading to improved cost management, revenue growth and a strengthened market position within the Indian aviation industry,” the release said.

It did not mention any details about Busy Bee Airways. According to data available from the corporate affairs ministry, Busy Bee Airways was incorporated on April 19, 2017 in Delhi and has a paid-up capital of approximately £950 (Rs 1 lakh).

Meanwhile, Pitti also said, “EaseMyTrip, which has no relation to this bid, continues to power on with its own focused and well-articulated expansion strategy.”

Singh, the chairman and managing director of SpiceJet, said he firmly believes that Go First holds immense potential and can be revitalised to work in close synergy with SpiceJet, benefitting both carriers.

“Apart from coveted slots at domestic and international airports, international traffic rights, and an order for over 100 Airbus Neo planes, Go First is a trusted and valued brand among flyers. I am happy to contribute to the efforts aimed at reviving this popular airline and leveraging its strengths for mutual growth and success,” he said in the release.

For SpiceJet, serving as the service provider for Go First will provide significant opportunities for revenue expansion, the release said.

According to the release,  “Coordinated route-planning initiatives are poised to enhance passenger traffic and drive ticket sales for both airlines. By strategically aligning their flight schedules and destinations, SpiceJet and the new airline can capture a larger share of the market and cater to diverse passenger needs effectively.”

SpiceJet — which has been facing multiple headwinds, including financial woes and legal battles — is raising funds and has received an amount of £74.4 million (Rs 744 crore).

The company has also initiated the process to raise an additional £100 million approximately (Rs 1,000 crore) the release said.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Sky One’s chairman Jaideep Mirchandani said it has submitted a bid for Go First and looks forward to the next stage, which is due diligence.

“Given our vast aviation experience across the globe, we are confident about the acquisition,” he said.

Headquartered in Sharjah, Sky One specialises in various aviation services, including cargo charters.

Earlier, reports had said the African continent-focused firm, Safrik Investments, was also interested in buying Go First.

On February 13, the NCLT extended the deadline to complete the insolvency resolution process of Go First by another 60 days.

The airline shuttered operations due to financial woes caused by persisting issues with Pratt & Whitney engines that had resulted in the grounding of its aircraft.


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