The Indian government has decided to re-allocate the Hajj flights that were originally planned to be operated by Go First, an airline facing financial difficulties. The decision comes in light of Go First’s cancellation of all flights since May 3 and its admission of voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings by the National Company Law Tribunal.
Instead of Go First, the flights for the Haj pilgrimage will now be operated by IndiGo, Saudia, and flyadeal. Go First was scheduled to operate the flights from 10 embarkation points in India, but now IndiGo and the two Saudi carriers will take over those operations.
The Haj pilgrimage flights are set to commence later this month and continue until the second week of July. The total quota for this year’s Haj pilgrimage in India is 1,75,025 pilgrims, and the annual pilgrimage is expected to take place around the end of June.
In February, the Ministry of Minority Affairs had stated that the original Haj quota for India had been restored for Haj 2023 through bilateral negotiations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The quota is allocated to the Haj Committee of India (HCoI) and is meant for pilgrims from various states and Union Territories.
As for Go First, an Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) has been appointed by the NCLT to manage the airline’s affairs under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). However, some lessors have challenged the ruling of the tribunal, adding to the uncertainty surrounding the future of Go First