The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 29 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

GoAir weighs foreign tie-ups

Calcutta, Jan. 28: Private low-cost carrier GoAir is studying the new FDI regime to explore opportunities for a tie-up with a foreign partner.

Chief executive officer Giorgio De Roni said the airline was keen to imbibe global best practices and technology from a tie-up, which would help it to reach out to customers abroad.

“Cash is not the consideration. The existing shareholders are very supportive of the business and they will remain in the majority,” Roni said.

He said the carrier was not in talks with any foreign airlines, adding that the shareholders will take a call on the issue. “We are working on this.”

The Mumbai-based airline is wholly owned by the Wadia family, the promoters of Bombay Dyeing.

The government had last year allowed foreign airlines to pick up a 49 per cent stake in domestic carriers.

Following the relaxation in rules, local carriers such as Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Kingfisher have been engaged in parleys with foreign players.

As of now, a deal between Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and Jet Airways looks imminent.

The unlisted GoAir expects to post profit this year after suffering a loss last fiscal. It reported profits in first and third quarter and hopes to repeat the performance in the fourth.

The airline plans to increase its fleet size to 21 by July 2014 from 13 aircraft, which operate 110 daily flights.

Eastern region plan

GoAir will introduce flights to Ahmedabad, Guwahati and Bagdogra from Calcutta from next Monday.

The airline had entered the city in 2011, six years after starting operations, with flights to Delhi and Port Blair.

The airline also plans to add three new destinations by March 2014. Roni said seat occupancy in business class on the Delhi-Calcutta routes would be lower than other comparable routes (Delhi-Mumbai) and blamed it on the lack of industrialisation in the east.

“The number of corporate houses in the region is low. At the same time, we need to create awareness here,” he added.