India’s second-tier airlines face major challenges: part one – Go First enters voluntary bankruptcy

Premium Analysis

While India’s largest airlines IndiGo and Air India have been attracting headlines due to their ambitious growth plans, some of the country’s other airlines are grappling with serious financial challenges.

Air India’s recent moves to order 470 aircraft signals that it is back in expansion mode, and rival IndiGo has about the same number of aircraft remaining on its order books. They are both looking to tap into the strong demand potential in the Indian market, but their growth strategies will also put more pressure on India’s smaller airlines.

Many of these airlines are already in difficulties.

Go First has entered voluntary bankruptcy, due partly to long-running fleet problems that are out of its control. Spicejet is mired in court disputes as aircraft lessors seek unpaid fees, and Jet Airways faces looming deadlines to keep its relaunch hopes alive.

As competition continues to heat up in the Indian domestic market, the question is whether all these players can survive, or whether further consolidation will be required among the smaller independent airlines.

Part one of this analysis will focus on Go First, and part two will discuss Spicejet and Jet Airways.

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