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.
In 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:
– 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.
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.