Taking a cue from Aviation Minister Praful Patel’s forecast of 20 per cent annual growth in domestic and international air traffic and passenger numbers due to hit 50 million in five years, GoAir, a low-cost carrier from the Wadia Group, takes to the skies from today.
GoAir, the newest venture of the Wadia Group which also owns Bombay Dyeing and Britannia Industries, is being positioned as the ‘people’s airline’. The airline was launched in the midst of high-decibel outdoor campaigns created by Law & Kenneth.
As part of a never before launch promotion, GoAir early last month offered its passengers 10,000 free tickets every month per destination under its GoAir FreeFares scheme. Under this scheme passengers can avail the GoAir FreeFares that will be available on a ‘first come first served’ basis. This offer is valid for a six-month period which started in October 2005 and will go upto March 2006. Passengers who book early would get a zero fare and would only have to pay the taxes amounting to Rs 221.
GoAir joins the ever-increasing list of budget airlines in India that have been launched in the last two years. But is there space for a new airline in Indian skies? Said a confident Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir, “There is enough room for everyone to operate in India.”
Added Wadia, “It is our endeavour to commoditise air travel in India by delivering low-cost fares coupled with quality in terms of price, efficiency and service with a smile. Our distribution network has been well-researched and after evaluating current mediums, we have introduced an innovative strategy that is not just accessible but extremely convenient to everyone.”
Speaking about the GoAir FreeFares scheme, Wadia said, “It is our dream to increase air connectivity in India, and this is our first step in this direction.” The fares will be 40 per cent lower than that of traditional airlines and, on an average, 10 per cent higher than air-conditioned first and second class railway fares. “This is in keeping with the airline’s aim of being the lowest-cost carrier in the country and reducing the disparity between train and air travel in India,” he added.
The sectors on which it would begin operations are Mumbai-Ahmedabad (two flights a day), Mumbai-Goa (two flights a day) and Mumbai-Coimbatore (one flight).
With Indigo, Indus One and Air One slated to make their presence felt in coming months, India's skies could soon be getting crowded.