SpiceJet submits joint bid to acquire bankrupt Go First

In a release on Friday, SpiceJet said the bid for Go First has been submitted by Singh in his personal capacity along with Busy Bee Airways Pvt Ltd. File Photo: PTI.

New Delhi: SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh along with Busy Bee Airways have put in a bid for bankrupt Go First as the budget carrier looks to strengthen its operations with more slots and international flying rights of Go First. The announcement also 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 release on Friday, SpiceJet said the bid for Go First has been submitted by Singh in his personal capacity along with Busy Bee Airways Pvt Ltd. Separately, Sharjah-based Sky One FZE said it has also submitted a bid for Go First.

Go First, which 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. The release 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 Rs 1 lakh.

Singh, who is the Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet, said that he firmly believes that Go First holds immense potential and can be revitalised to work in close 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, 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, the release said that serving as the service provider for Go First will provide significant opportunities for revenue expansion. "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," the release said.

SpiceJet - which has been facing multiple headwinds, including financial woes and legal battles - is raising funds and has received an amount of Rs 744 crore. The company has also initiated the process to raise an additional 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.

Earlier, reports had said that African continent-focused firm Safrik Investments was also interested in buying Go First. On February 13, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) extended the deadline for another 60 days to complete the insolvency resolution process of Go First. 

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