Hoping to make inroads into a new city, GoAir is planning to start flights from the Indian city of Surat soon. The airline hopes to connect the west coast city to more destinations in India and compete with the likes of IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Air India. Routes being planned for the summer include direct services to Mumbai, Amritsar, and Jaipur.
Jumping into a growing market
GoAir is looking to expand into markets that have more potential for growth. According to reports, the airline is looking to acquire around 60 slots at Surat airport, allowing it to serve a number of destinations in the upcoming summer months. However, the Surat market is not devoid of competition as nearly all major carriers service the city. IndiGo, SpiceJet, Air India, and Air India Express all fly from the city. In fact, Air India even flies internationally from the airport.
Surat airport currently sees 22 daily flights, carrying 4,000 passengers a day, to seven cities all over India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Jaipur and more. The airport also serves one international flight to Sharjah in the UAE, three times a week. It is clear that GoAir has seen an opportunity in the market and is hoping to cash in on demand for more direct flights to major cities.
Where is GoAir looking to fly?
Some routes currently being considered include Mumbai, Jaipur, and Amritsar. The first two routes currently see daily flights by SpiceJet on a Dash 8, while Amritsar currently has no direct flights. With the busy summer travel season coming up, these routes could be very popular.
GoAir seems to be focusing on popular cities that currently lack multiple daily flights, such as Mumbai, which could see growth in the summer. With a new direct service to Amritsar, GoAir could quickly become a player in Surat, tapping into demand.
GoAir has been in the press the past few months for a variety of reasons, from pigeons in their cabin to the ongoing issues with the P&W engines on their A320s. Now with the coronavirus in India, GoAir could see a further drop in demand for the spring. Focusing on untapped routes could be the airline’s best way to make profits and increase capacity.
GoAir only holds a small portion of India’s growing aviation market, with a 10% market share. However, with a robust fleet of 57 A320s, the airline has the opportunity to expand in India. For example, even a year after Jet’s collapse, 33% of its domestic slots still remain empty and more airports in the country wait to be connected.
While the near future does seem bleak for the aviation industry, the situation is expected to pass eventually. A great deal of growth is expected to happen soon after – especially in India.