GoAir became eligible to launch international services last year when it inducted its 20th aircraft. However, the launch has been postponed because of delay in deliveries of the Airbus A320neo planes, reports the Indian-focussed news portal Businesss Standard. (See story here.)
GoAir is owned by the Indian business conglomerate Wadia Group. In May 2017 it was the fifth largest airline in India with 8.5% domestic passenger market share.
GoAir has 23 Airbus A320 planes, including five A320neo aircraft. The airline is expected to receive two planes by October and would firm up its overseas plans by then, sources said.
A GoAir spokesperson did not respond to an email query on the topic.
GoAir had planned to begin its international operations with flights from Kochi to Doha in Qatar and Dammam in Saudi Arabia by the second-half of this year, but, the launches have been put on the back burner. They have now zeroed in on Phuket and Maldives, said the Business Standard report.
At present, there are no direct flights from Phuket to India, and Male is linked only to cities in south India and Delhi, it added.
Securing a slot at the Mumbai airport could be easier given the airport operator’s preference for virgin international routes, the report noted.
“We have plans to start overseas operations from October this year,” GoAir Managing Director Jehangir Wadia said.
International traffic from India is growing at about 9% and rival low-cost carriers are increasing frequencies or launching new routes to cater to this demand, said the report.