GoAir pursuing massive Phuket expansion. Ambitious?

GoAir started their international journey recently with the addition of Phuket as first destination and Male as it’s second international destination. They currently have a fleet of 41 Airbus A320 aircraft. Out of these, 19 are Airbus A320, and 22 are Airbus A320neo. They have another 122 Airbus A320neo incoming in a few years.

As per many news reports, GoAir is planning to make Phuket a hub. They plan on connecting eight more Indian cities to Phuket with direct flights by 2019 end. This will take the total to 10 since they already have 3x weekly flights from Mumbai and 2x weekly flights from New Delhi. Looking at GoAir’s route map, the eight potential destinations are:

  • Ahmedabad
  • Bengaluru
  • Chandigarh
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Kochi
  • Kolkata
  • Pune

GoAir Route Map

I am a bit sceptical about their plans. For starters, Phuket didn’t have a single nonstop flight from India until now. If there was so much potential then why didn’t other carriers take advantage of it? I am not only talking about Indian carriers but also Thai AirAsia and Thai Lion Air.

Yes, Phuket attracts a large number of Indian tourists but flights from 10 cities year round seems a bit optimistic. It is a tourist destination and is seasonal. Thailand welcomed around 8 lakh Indian tourists in first six months of 2017 and is registering a 15% YoY growth. So there is potential no doubt.

GoAir has rights to fly to nine countries, including China, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. When will GoAir launch flights to these destinations? They are soon going to start flights to Bangkok.

Bottomline

GoAir charts an interesting plan to connect Phuket to 10 Indian cities by 2019 end. It may be a bit of an ambitious project. Let’s see if they succeed in implementing and operating the routes. And I am not sure if there are enough bilateral rights available.

What do you think of GoAir plans to make Phuket a hub?

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