Out of the older bunch of airlines in India, GoAir has been the only one which has delayed the launch of their international operations. They needed 5 years of operations which they had for the longest time (established 2005) and 20 planes, which is a number they did not push the pedal on the gas until last year since they wanted to focus on profit over market share.
Now, GoAir is ready to start international operations. Last year, when they were granted permission to start international operations, they were given permission to fly to the following destinations:
- Iran: From Mumbai or Delhi/7 services per week
- China: Mumbai or Delhi to Guangzhou or Kunmig/7 services per week
- Vietnam: Mumbai or Delhi to Ho Chi Minh City/7 services per week
- Maldives: Mumbai or Delhi to Male/7 services per week
- Azerbaijan: Mumbai or Delhi to Baku/3 services per week
- Uzbekistan /Kazakhstan: Delhi to Tashkent or Almaty/4 services per week
- Qatar: Kochi/Bangalore to Doha/ 7 services per week
- Saudi Arabia: Kochi/Trivandrum/Hyderabad/Kannur to Dammam/ 7 services per week
Now, they are getting ready to launch international operations as of December 2017. Their first international port of call will be Maldives. As per the Maldivian newspaper Sun,
GoAir will start operations with Airbus 320 aircrafts which the capacity to carry 180 passengers, between Male and Mumbai. GoAir is set to launch its operations on December 1. The airline will have daily flights.
This is currently not confirmed by the airline and no GDS is displaying this information so far. However, this looks completely workable given the airline is getting ready to launch international operations this year. Mumbai – Male is a virgin route, and no airline operates on this route currently. The only flights to Male operate from Kochi (SpiceJet) and Chennai/Trivandrum (Air India) which focusses on a different market. Mumba-Male would finally bring tourists directly to Male and would also help Mumbai Airport have more people land in Mumbai to go to Male, putting it in contention with Colombo.
This is a great development for GoAir, who would finally take to the international skies. The airline has about 144 more narrowbody planes on order, and they’d definitely be interested in taking on some regional routes to keep those planes in the air as long as possible.
What do you think about GoAir’s differentiated strategy for regional operations?
(HT: Pranav B)