GoAir has been the last of the legacy no-frills carriers flying exclusively around India, and growing very slowly but steadily and profitably. They have been in operation since 2005, but only added their 20th plane earlier this year to be compliant with the 20 planes for flying international requirement.
The airline had requested to start flying outside the country, and given that they have an all Airbus A320 fleet (Classics as well as Neos to be inducted), the airline has planned to start flying outside the country in the neighborhood. The airline applied to the regulator for allocation of rights to fly to 14 countries, which included, Iran, China, Vietnam, Maldives, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey, Thailand, UAE and Oman.
Turns out, they have been granted rights to fly to nine of the new destinations they requested, which are:
- Iran (No Indian Airline flies there): From Mumbai or Delhi/7 services per week
- China (Only Air India flies there, SpiceJet withdrew): Mumbai or Delhi to Guangzhou or Kunmig/7 services per week
- Vietnam (Jet Airways recently withdrew): Mumbai or Delhi to Ho Chi Minh City/7 services per week
- Maldives (Air India & SpiceJet fly there): Mumbai or Delhi to Male/7 services per week
- Azerbaijan (No Indian Airline flies there): Mumbai or Delhi to Baku/3 services per week
- Uzbekistan /Kazakhstan (No Indian Airline flies there): Delhi to Tashkent or Almaty/4 services per week
- Qatar (Jet Airways & Air India flies there): Kochi/Bangalore to Doha/ 7 services per week
- Saudi Arabia (Jet Airways & Air India flies there): Kochi/Trivandrum/Hyderabad/Kannur to Dammam/ 7 services per week
GoAir has a big order of 144 A320 Neos pending, and the first one was delivered in June 2016. This is an interesting plan to go to places where no one else has gone, and open new markets rather than compete in already crowded markets.
I wish them well with their plans, and would certainly love to fly with them to some of these places!
What are your thoughts about the GoAir strategy of going to new cities rather than competing on existing routes with other players?