Go Airlines, Pratt & Whitney Duking It Out
EAST HARTFORD, CT (IANS) – Shoot and scoot seem to be the communication policy being adopted by the two warring groups in the aviation sector – India’s Go Airlines and aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney of the US.
Incidentally, Pratt & Whitney India is headed by Ashmita Sethi, who was earlier the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, South Asia, for Rolls Royce and Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs at Boeing as per her LinkedIn page.
In times of crisis, ‘communicate, communicate, and communicate’ is what communication gurus advocate.
But the two companies remain silent on questions from the media and resort to a shoot-and-scoot strategy.
It was the Wadia group’s Go Airlines that fired the first shot blaming Pratt & Whitney for its decision to file a voluntary petition for insolvency with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Delhi.
The airline said that it has approached the NCLT “due to the ever-increasing number of failing engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney’s International Aero Engines, which has resulted in Go First having to ground 25 aircraft (equivalent to approximately 50 percent of its Airbus A320neo aircraft fleet) as of May 1, 2023.”
“The percentage of grounded aircraft due to Pratt & Whitney’s faulty engines has grown from 7 percent in December 2019 to 31 percent in December 2020 to 50 percent in December 2022. This is despite Pratt & Whitney making several ongoing assurances over the years, which it has repeatedly failed to meet,” Go Airlines said.
The airline’s decision to apply for insolvency blaming the engine supplier has taken its lenders, creditors, staff, and others entirely by surprise. Perhaps, Go Airlines is the first airline to blame the engine maker for its financial woes. With Go Airlines tight-lipped some are even wondering whether blaming the engine supplier for its woes is a strategy to get a huge loan waiver.
On their part, Pratt & Whitney said, “Go First has a lengthy history of missing its financial obligations to Pratt.” However, the official declined to elaborate further on its allegation against Go Airlines.
“Pratt & Whitney is committed to the success of our airline customers, and we continue to prioritize delivery schedules for all customers. P&W (Pratt & Whitney) is complying with the March 2023 arbitration ruling related to Go First. As this is now a matter of litigation, we will not comment further,” it said.