GoAir began its journey back in 2005 around the same time as IndiGo. GoAir, unlike IndiGo, lacked a strong management team, a consistent CEO (more than 6 CEOs flipped) and a proper strategy. They have since been doing just one job, existing, rather than growing. GoAir took the longest time to go international since it didn’t take any new aircraft deliveries, for a long time and was below the threshold of 20 aircraft for years.
Then, GoAir took rapid deliveries of many A320neo aircraft, and now has more A320neos than A320ceos in its fleet. Its international foray didn’t go as planned, and GoAir pulled out of Maldives completely. Male was GoAir’s second international destination. It currently operates daily flights to Phuket from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru as well as to Abu Dhabi and Muscat from Kannur.
GoAir recently added its 50th aircraft. It now has a fleet of 35 A320neo and 15 A320ceo aircraft. Go is moving towards an all A320neo fleet. As more A320neos are delivered, the rest of the A320ceo will also be phased out from the fleet.
— GoAir (@goairlinesindia) June 27, 2019
Jeh Wadia, managing director and acting chief executive, commented that,
In 2016, we looked at an aggressive business strategy. That year we doubled our Airbus A320 aircraft order to 144 to accelerate our growth and at the same time staying profitable. Those goals continue to be our guiding principle from a business perspective.
GoAir also secured a part of Jet Airways bilateral rights, temporarily. They are allowed to add 35 weekly international flights. Deliveries of new A320neo which were halted for a period of four months have resumed since April 2019. Moving forward, GoAir will add an aircraft a month. They took delivery of 17 A320neo in 2018 and have till now taken 4 A320neo in 2019. It looks like deliveries have slowed down this year.
GoAir will also add four new international destinations soon. GoAir also has/had plans to develop Phuket into a hub and connect it with 10 Indian cities, but we haven’t seen any more additions yet.
It is also reported that GoAir has revived the idea of an initial public offering (IPO). There were rumours of IPO in 2017, but that didn’t fructify. According to CNBC,
GoAir is back in the market and is in talks with investment banks like Citi and Morgan Stanley as well as law firms and will soon finalise its advisors. It is keen on an initial public offer as part of which it plans to raise between Rs 1,728-2,074 crore, though a final call has not been taken on the issue size as the discussions are at a preliminary stage.
GoAir has a long way to go. They lack a strong management team with so many top-level exits, especially in the past few months, a clear expansion plan and so-on. But you have to give GoAir the credit they deserve. They have topped OTP charts at the four metros since September 2018 and are recording passenger load factor above 90% since February 2019. Let’s see what’s in store for the future.