Port Blair Set to Get More Air Connectivity with Bengaluru and Hyderabad

Low-cost air carrier GoAir has added Hyderabad as its 23rd destination on its network; services to begin from October 2016. Hyderabad-Bengaluru-Port Blair are now going to be air-connected.

Earlier, India’s leading low cost air carrier, IndiGo, had introduced three new flights connecting Port Blair with Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi. Port Blair thus became IndiGo’s 41st destination.

As of now, the Mumbai based no-frills airline GoAir flies to 22 domestic airports with a fleet of 21 Airbus A320 including A320neo.

This will provide leisure and business travelers more travel options.

In a press release, GoAir said that it would add Hyderabad in its network with the launch of non-stop flight services between Hyderabad and Chennai, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, & Kolkata from October 2016.

Tickets for the new flights are already up for sale, the release said, and can be booked through the company website, NC Airways, GoAir Call Centre, airport ticketing offices, and the GoAir mobile app that is available on both Apple iOS and Google Android.

“This latest addition to GoAir network reflects the airline’s phase of growth with a focus on scaling up operations gradually in the coming weeks while strengthening the value proposition to suit customer’s demand. With new additions of aircraft in coming months, GoAir will operate up to 184 daily flights by the end of December from current 144.” the airline said.

In June 2011, GoAir had placed an order with the European airplane maker, Airbus, for 72 new A320 neo aircraft valued at about Rs 3,24,000 million on list price. Thereafter, GoAir signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for another 72 A320neo aircraft at Farnborough International Airshow in July 2016.

GoAir had last month said that it planned to add five more planes in the fleet by March 2017 besides commencing international operations.

“Hyderabad is a key market in south and central India and a significant base for business and tourism in the region. Adding Hyderabad with its ideal geographical location, we reinforce our commitments towards connectivity across the country,” GoAir Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Prock-Schaeur said in the release.

“We are happy to welcome GoAir to Hyderabad Airport. As one of the fastest growing airports in the country, our focus has been on providing more options to our passengers and with the introduction of services by GoAir, we now offer a wider range of choices in terms of destinations and frequencies. We keenly look forward to working together with GoAir towards our goal of establishing Hyderabad Airport as the gateway to south & central India,” GMR Hyderabad International Airport CEO, S G K Kishore said.

IPO Would Happen at the “Right Time”: GoAir

GoAir, owned by the Bombay-based Wadia Group, is the fifth largest airline in the country with a low passenger market share. It started its operations in 2005 and has had a slow growth owing to the tough aviation environment in India. The company says that the slow growth is strategic so as to maintain profitability.

GoAir buys A320 neosIn June 2011, budget carrier GoAir had placed an order with Airbus for 72 new A320 neo aircraft valued at about Rs 3,24,000 million. Besides, it also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for another 72 A320neo aircraft at Farnborough International Airshow in June 2016. About the MoU with Airbus, CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said the order is expected to be in place in the next 2-3 months.    “Economic things are stipulated in the MoU and only legal issues are to be worked out,” he added.

GoAir is now eligible to start international flights and is believed to have plans to come out with its initial public offering soon. It plans to raise funds through IPO to start its international operations.

GoAir had filed an application earlier this year for its International traffic rights.

GoAir has now obtained government’s approval to fly to nine countries including Iran, Uzbekistan and Kazakhastan. It expects to start international operations from the next summer schedule — which generally spans from the last Sunday of March and extends to the last Saturday of October. GoAir would be the first Indian private carrier to fly to any CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). The Ministry of Civil Aviation has awarded GoAir the ensuing routes and frequencies:neo

– Mumbai Int’l or Delhi Int’l to Tehran Imam Khomeini (Iran) – 7x weekly;
– Mumbai or Delhi to Guangzhou or Kunming Changshui (China) – 7x weekly;
– Mumbai or Delhi to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) – 7x weekly;
– Mumbai or Delhi to Malé (Maldives) – 7x weekly;
– Mumbai or Delhi to Baku (Azerbaijan) – 3x weekly;
– Delhi to Tashkent Yuzhny (Uzbekistan)/Almaty (Kazakhstan) – 4x weekly;
– Kochi Int’l or Bangalore Int’l to Doha Hamad Int’l (Qatar) – 7x weekly;
– Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram/Hyderabad Int’l/Kannur to Dammam (Saudi Arabia) – 7x weekly.

Apart from this, GoAir has said it will start seven new flights from 21 August which would connect Delhi to Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune and Guwahati.

Four direct flights connect Delhi, Jaipur and Lucknow. In addition, there will be three connecting flights start from Guwahati, Mumbai and Lucknow and lands at Jaipur, Lucknow and Pune respectively via Delhi.

Almost all these flights are in the afternoon time.

download (6)On the much-awaited IPO, Prock-Schauer has said that plans are on for listing and it would happen at the “right time”.  “We are preparing ourselves (for the IPO). Its a question of timing, it is about the right timing. We are not in a hurry. We will wait for the right timing. We want to be well prepared. There are many things which we need to look at (before going to stock exchange),” he said.

GoAir is aiming for 26 aircraft by end of March 2017 from the current fleet strength of 21. As GoAir prepares to expand its aircraft fleet and fly overseas, its manpower requirement is also building up. Gearing up to implement its ambitious expansion plans, GoAir plans to hire 500 personnel, including pilots, in near future.

“We will expand our fleet by up to 26 aircraft by the end of March next year. We need to build up for the expansion that we are going for. Every aircraft (inducted) needs 100 increase (in manpower) approximately. So we will naturally hire,” he told media. This would result in hiring requirement of at least 500 personnel, including a significant number of pilots. At present, GoAir’s head count is around 2,300, Prock-Schauer said.

 

GoAir Firms up Plans to Go International: Rs 10,000 Million IPO Coming Up

GoAir is the leading Indian budget Airline
GoAir has a captivating theme, ‘Fly Smart’.
GoAir has now come up with a masterstroke.
International operations set to begin, IPO to be launched
Rs 10,000 million to be raised easily, may surpass IndiGo
72 + 72 A320neos already ordered !!


India’s budget airline GoAir has finally firmed up its well-laid plans to go International. Simultaneously, it is preparing for listing in the 2016-17.

Earlier report : GoAir can now Fly International; May Launch an IPO

Go Air, a Wadia Group company, has sought permission to fly to Phuket, Bangkok, Sharjah, Kuwait, Kunming and Guangzhou from its two hubs in Delhi and Mumbai by April 2017. By October 2017, the airline intends to connect Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad with Dammam, Kuwait, Muscat and Sharjah.

download (6)GoAir Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wolfgang Prock-Schauer has already written to the ministry: “We require allocations for proper planning and hence we request approval for designation as an Indian carrier to fly the routes mentioned.” 

A ministry official said the airline would be given seats on almost all routes, provided India had bilateral agreements with those countries.

Another low cost carrier in India, SpiceJet, started international operations in 2010, while the other LCC, IndiGo, in 2011. Both have built their international plans around short-haul routes.

Aviation analysts believe that it is prudent for an Indian airline to fly on shorter routes in the Middle East and Asia Pacific because most of the passenger traffic comes from those routes.

GoAir launched its operations in 2005. In 2016, the airline has major expansion plans like its other rivals. 

With the induction of the new Airbus A320neo in May 2016, GoAir’s fleet size reached the magical figure of 20 making it eligible to fly international. As of now, GoAir normally operate with a passenger load factor of 83.7%. Passengers carried by all domestic airlines in India during Jan-Apr 2016 were 30,935 million of which GoAir carried 2.54 million. GoAir, thus, has a market share of nearly 8.2%.

This, aviation analysts assume, could be a possible trigger for an early listing. GoAir intended to list by October 2016 to raise around Rs 10,000 million and that made a case for it to speed up its international plans. 

Honoured with the Best Airline Award for Efficient & Quality service by PATWA for two consecutive years in a row, GoAir reported a profit of around Rs 1,660 million in 2015-16.

A former CEO of Jet Airways, now an independent analyst, Steve Forte’s views ondownload (13) GoAir are : “If GoAir starts a successful international operation, its value could increase substantially in the event of an initial public offering (IPO), especially if it has a foreign carrier to back it up. It is important to know that the initial strategy of the founder (Wadias) was to create an airline with the ultimate goal of an exit. The IPO could be the beginning of such a strategy. GoAir will be a good investment for a foreign carrier wishing to establish a foothold in India.”

In its preparation for expansion and for the IPO, GoAir had made Prock-Schauer CEO and managing director in April.

Positioned as ‘The Smart People’s Airline’, Go Air has chosen Airbus for its ambitious expansion plans. A320neo being at the core of its plans.

Further, as part of its  expansion, GoAir has placed an order for 72 more Airbus A320neo planes worth around $7.5 billion at list prices. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer responded to queries on A320neo aircraft deal with the airbus: “We had ordered 72 in 2011. These will be delivered till 2020. The 72 planes we ordered in July 2016 will be delivered between 2020 and 2025. So, this order takes care of fleet requirements till 2025.”

Today, an Airbus A320 costs $98 million, while an Airbus A320neo costs $107.30 million. Airbus claims that this new type of aircraft burns 10-15 per cent less fuel than the existing versions. As of now, another budget airline IndiGo is the only operator of A320 neo in India. With the  induction of A320neo planes, Go Air will like to expand its network further and offer fliers better connectivity and continue its growth as one of India’s preferred low-cost airline.

neo“The new A320neo provide us the competitive edge to achieve our growth targets and help us strengthening our presence in the wider region. It also reaffirms Go Air’s commitment to deliver the most modern, comfortable and excellent air travel experience to all customers as well as to strengthen the sustained positive growth and business expansion of the company. The new aircraft will help us in unlocking new domestic routes while providing a springboard for continued international network expansion in the years to come.” said Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.

“Unbeatable operating economics of the A320 Family,” said Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy, “Go Air is among the three first A320neo operators, and with an order for 144 is one of the leading operators of the type.”

Read : IndiGo Shares Soar on Stock Market Debut

Trade analysts have now reasons to look forward to a another blockbuster IPO offering.

In 2015, the IPO of  IndiGo, was subscribed 6.14 times, A320neo being the chief factor. When IndiGo did not receive the neos by December 2015, its shares nosedived. It recovered partially later when IndiGo took delivery of Asia’s first A320neo aircraft on 10 March from Airbus.

Whether GoAir IPO could raise the bar set by IndiGo earlier in November 2015, remains to be seen.