GoAir plans to increase capacity by 21%, expand route network

Wadia group budget carrier GoAir plans to ramp up capacity by 21 per cent this fiscal by expanding its route network to metro and non-metro cities and through optimum utilisation of existing fleet.

Mr. Giorgio De Roni"We are planning to increase capacity by 21 per cent, offering over 8.5 million seats in the current fiscal," GoAir chief executive Giorgio De Roni said.

He said the airline's strategy to achieve this goal is based on its "Vision 2015", when the airline plans to start operating international flights.

"Vision 2015 entails offering customers the most attractive and sustainable fares; high aircraft utilisation, an efficient cost structure and further strengthening of services between metro airports and tier II and tier III cities, particularly to those markets that have consistently grown at remarkable rates in the recent years," he said.

De Roni had last month said GoAir will be applying for a global flying permit after complying with a regulatory requirement of a minimum domestic fleet size of 20 aircraft this year.

He said the airline's proposed international operations will most probably start by September next year. GoAir will also have the needed capacity of 20 aircraft with the addition of an A320 aircraft by July.

"We will soon achieve the 20 aircraft size. This will make us eligible to fly abroad as per the 5/20 rule. We expect to fly international in the first half of next financial year," he said.

The new addition is part of an order of 72 Airbus A320 aircraft that the company had placed in June 2011. It will receive all the aircraft by 2020.

GoAir has registered a healthy traffic growth of 12.5 and 14.6 per cent in the first two months of the 2014-15 fiscal and has a current market share of 9.5 per cent, De Roni said.

While continuing to remain profitable and sustain growth over the past one year, he said, the airline has also achieved better customer satisfaction with consistently lowest number of passenger complaints in the industry.

GoAir operates over 900 flights a week to 21 domestic destinations with 19 aircraft.

In the short term, the airline may also opt for leasing aircraft in order to sustain growth plan, Roni said, adding that the domestic aviation market is expected to become the third largest within the next few years.

While the expansion will depend on the availability of traffic rights, Roni said, GoAir will focus more on contiguous cities that fall within the 3.5-4.5 hours flight range, within which the airline's Airbus A-320 fleet works efficiently.