GoAir Is Eyeing A Huge Aircraft Order

Sources are reporting that Indian budget carrier GoAir is welcoming bids from Airbus and Boeing for a massive order of new jets. According to a Business Standard report last week, the request for bids is for 20 widebody and 200 narrowbody planes. This comes at a time where the airline prepares for another phase of growth.

GoAir is currently an all-Airbus, all-A320 fleet. Photo: GoAir

On an expansion streak

Earlier this month, GoAir’s Managing Director, Jeh Wadia had the following to say regarding his airline’s rapid expansion:

“Our plan is to add at least one aircraft on average every month. GoAir has flown 76 million passengers since inception and our aim is to achieve 100 million passengers in the next two years. Our daily flights have grown by 41 per cent to over 325, as compared to 230 daily flights same time last year,”

It was back in 2016 that GoAir received its first A320neo and its 20th aircraft overall. However, since then the airline has indeed added one aircraft on an average each month. In fact, this past July the airline celebrated the delivery of its 50th aircraft. At the current rate of one new plane per month, it would take 7-8 years for the airline to receive all 144 A320s on order.

An expert speaking with Business Standard had the following to say:

“The 16 older A320s will be phased out on completion of their lease terms in next few years. GoAir will have to keep adding planes to grow its market share,”

Growth is definitely taking place at GoAir. As of August 2019, the airline has a  domestic market share of 11.8%, up from 8.7% in January.

GoAir wants to phase out its old A320s for A320neos.Photo: GoAir

The current situation for GoAir

Currently GoAir is an Airbus-only airline and has 144 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order. This is a combined number stemming from two orders, one in 2011 and another in 2016. Currently, however, its fleet only has 37 A320neo aircraft and the rest are conventional A320s according to Airfleets.

GoAir celebrates receiving its 50th plane. Photo: GoAir

According to CH-Aviation, GoAir has been considering the launch of widebody operations for quite some time already. However, it has yet to officially announce any plans in this part of the market.

The possibilities

With Boeing and Airbus in the running for this order, there are a few possibilities for aircraft types. For narrowbody aircraft it’s a fairly sure bet that these new jets would either be from the Boeing 737 family or Airbus A320 family. On one hand it is advantageous for the airline to continue with Airbus and have the commonality across the entire fleet. No new training has to take place and operations are streamlined.

SpiceJet 737 MAX
GoAir rival SpiceJet has a number of 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet. Photo: Boeing

However, with this knowledge in mind and the size of the potential order, Boeing could put together a very, very attractive bid that would sell their 737MAX jets at a large discount. The discount would also have to consider the fact that consumer confidence in the MAX jets is extremely low and the jets have yet to be recertified for passenger operations.

As for widebody options, the airline would be looking at Airbus A330neos or something from the A350 family. On the Boeing side the options would be something from the 787 or 777 families. We know that Boeing is looking to add to its dwindling backlog of 787 orders – this might again drive them to offer an attractive discount.

Which manufacturer would you like to see GoAir place this large order with? And which widebody aircraft do you think would be selected? Let us know in the comments!