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GoAir to fly abroad

De Roni: Spreading wings

Calcutta, May 20: GoAir, the Wadia group-owned low fare airline, will apply for a global flying permit after complying with a regulatory requirement of a minimum domestic fleet size of 20 aircraft this year.

GoAir’s chief executive officer Giorgio De Roni today said the company had a fleet size of 19 and would add another one by July. The new addition is part of an order of 72 Airbus A320 aircraft that the company had ordered in June 2011. It will receive all the aircraft by 2020.

“We have already been in operation for more than 5 years and following the addition of a new aircraft, we will be entitled for international flights,” De Roni said, adding that the airline will approach the civil aviation ministry for the clearance. Promoted by the Wadia Group, GoAir started operations in 2006.

He said GoAir would undertake careful planning regarding the selection of destinations. “Entering a new market is not easy. We have to apply for international traffic rights, make sure that the operations are sustainable and profitable,” he said.

The company could start international operations from the beginning of the next fiscal.

De Roni said the Gulf region and Southeast Asia could be the destinations on its radar. “We are looking into all these geographies subject to approvals but India remains our core business,” he said.

He said the airline was looking to tap the FDI route and was “actively working” towards a strategic partnership. “We have been discussing with some partners. But till a deal is signed it would be premature to make any comment. However, the focus will be on growth, profitability and quality of services,” De Roni said.

Roni ruled out the possibility of an IPO in the near future.

GoAir today announced a direct daily flight from Calcutta to Nagpur and Patna. At present, the airline connects the city to Ahmedabad, Bagdogra, Delhi, Guwahati and Port Blair. “This indicates a strong demand for travel in the region and is completely in line with our strategy to bring connectivity between metros and non metros,” De Roni said.

At present, the airline is operating on 38 routes. It is evaluating flights to Bhubaneswar.

 
 
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