Kaushik Khona, the CEO of Go First Airlines, has finally submitted his resignation after the airline faced financial turmoil over the past seven months. The airline has already initiated the process of declaring bankruptcy. Khona informed the company’s employees about his resignation through an email, stating that November 30 would be his last day in the company. He expressed regret that the resolution professional (RP) had been unsuccessful in finding a solution to lead Go First forward, citing matters beyond his control.
Contents of the Email: In the email, Khona recounted joining the airline as CEO in 2020, expressing gratitude for the support he received during his tenure. He mentioned his efforts to fulfill his responsibilities and his intention to continue providing support. Khona conveyed his disappointment over the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings, which he stated was beyond his control. This marks his second term with Go First, as he had previously worked with the company from 2008 to 2011.
Concerns About Employee Salaries: Khona acknowledged the dedication and patience of the employees during challenging times. However, he pointed out that salaries had not been paid for the last six months. Despite efforts with resolution professionals, creditors’ committees, and the Wadia Group, the airline failed to secure salaries for its staff. Khona expressed a sincere wish for all employees to receive their due wages but regretfully admitted that he could no longer stay with the company.
Issues Leading to the Airline’s Closure: Go First Airlines ceased operations on May 3 due to engine issues with Pratt & Whitney engines, causing more than half of its aircraft to be grounded. Cash shortages and insufficient funds for fuel further exacerbated the situation. Khona claimed that the airline suffered a loss of nearly INR 8.9 billion in the past three years due to engine problems. Go First, formerly known as Go Air, is a budget airline of the Wadia Group, and it officially rebranded as Go First in 2021.