GoAir plans to double its global footprint

The budget airline is planning to double its international flights by August

GoAir plans to double its global footprint [File] Representative image | AFP

Low-cost carrier, GoAir, has seen an upswing in fortunes at a time when others felt the pinch of fickle turbulences in the airline industry. Not satisfied with strong growth in the domestic markets, and self-proclaimed as 'profitable', the Wadia family-owned airline now wants to cover more global destinations.

The company will be receiving delivery of one new A320 Neo every month so as to expand its global routes. "Currently, we are operating on 35 international routes. But from August 1, we will have 77 international flights from India," said Sam Patel, vice president, Network Planning, GoAir. The airline started flying to four international routes from October 2018.

GoAir operates out of five hubs, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and their newest one in Kannur. The airline would start new flights from Kannur to Muscat and Kannur to Abu Dhabi from next month. A Kuwait-Kannur daily flight is also on the anvil.

A daily Delhi-Dubai flight would start from August, the company said on Thursday.

"We are currently operating on 28 routes of Jet Airways. We have permission from DGCA to fly on these routes extended from July to September," said Patel, when asked about the number of Jet Airways routes the airline was allowed by civil aviation authorities. It is also operating on three international routes of Jet Airways to Kuwait, Dubai and Bangkok from India, he said.

"So, we are taking bookings on these routes till September," Patel clarified on the future of these Jet Airways routes, during a press meet. He said that the airline is in advanced discussions with civil aviation regulators as to taking over the Jet Airways routes after a specified time. "We are actively discussing," Patel said.

In the past nine months, the airline has consistently topped DGCA's on-time performance (OTP) record of all airlines. “We have achieved OTP of 89.3 per cent in the last nine months. This is at par with the best airlines of the world," said Harjinder Bhasin, head of GoAir's airport division, and newly appointed from Jet Airways.

Bhasin said that the airline also had the least number of complaints registered at 0.3 per cent per 10,000 passengers or one out of 30,000 passengers. The baggage delivery mishandling complaints were also the lowest at one complaint every 40,000 passengers, DGCA data showed.

GoAir's young fleet now includes 38 A320 Neo and 17 A320 Ceo aircrafts. "Our target group is also young. Our studies have found out that one out of four millennials looks forward to travelling to an exotic foreign location every year. We are keenly understanding the travel needs of millennials and you will soon see these changes," said Shabnam Syed, GoAir, VP, marketing and e-commerce.

However, the private budget carrier's flight to foreign destinations would remain limited to the 6,200 km flying range of the narrow-bodied A320 Neo and Ceo, at least for now.