Pratt & Whitney said Indian company Go First did not own rights to the engines

Pratt & Whitney currently has no engines available to airline India Go First, which also does not own rights to the engines, attorneys for the company said in a Delaware court on Thursday, as the two companies were involved in a bitter dispute over supply.

The Indian airline has gone to court in Delaware to enforce an arbitration award it won in Singapore against Pratt & Whitney, which it accuses of being responsible for its financial difficulties and which it says did not deliver engines in a timely manner. Pratt & Whitney said these complaints were unfounded.

Go First has been placed under bankruptcy protection in India and a beneficiary has been appointed to try to revive the airline. The situation has also sparked a stalemate with many of Go First’s tenants, who have terminated their leases and are trying to repossess the plane.

At a court hearing on Thursday, accessed by Reuters via a court-appointed teleconferencing system, an attorney for Pratt argued that Go First no longer had rights to the machines following the termination of the lease contract.

“There are no machines available to be delivered to Go First… this lease has been terminated and (the machines) cannot be delivered because Go First does not own the rights to them,” said lawyer Pratt & Whitney.

Lawyers for Go First argue that this position is wrong, saying that bankruptcy proceedings in India provide for a freeze on the lessor’s repossession of the aircraft, and therefore Go First retains an interest in the aircraft and engines.

Lawyers for the Indian airline added that the engine was the key to its revival.

On March 30, Singapore arbitrators ordered Pratt to assist Go First and provide a working spare engine for the airline, which said it had grounded half of its 54 Airbus A320neos due to engine problems.

Pratt argued that the arbitration order was unenforceable.

Serena Hoyles

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