Budget carrier GoAir is likely to convert some of its Airbus A320 neo planes, which are on order, into Airbus 321s amidst its plans to launch international operations by this winter schedule. “There is a possibility (of converting some of the A320 neos into A321s), but a decision is yet to be arrived at,” GoAir Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said. The Nusli Wadia-promoted no-frills airline has placed order for 144 A320 neo (new engine option) planes with the European aviation major Airbus in two tranches. “That is a possibility. We see quite a big asset in this aircraft…we can go for a bigger version, that is something we are looking at. But we have not taken a decision,” Prock-Schauer said. In June 2011, the Mumbai-based airline had placed an order for 72 new A320 neo aircraft valued at about Rs 32,400 crore on list price.
Then in January this year, the airline firmed an order for another 72 A320 neos worth Rs 52,000 crore. The airline currently has a fleet of 23 Airbus 320 family planes in the fleet, including five A320 neos. Prock-Schauer also said that GoAir is aiming to have 37 aircraft in the fleet by March next year. The doubling of the aircraft order to 114 from 72 will help the airline achieve its goal of becoming one of the top three airlines in the country, he said. According to him, before going international, the airlines first has to strengthen its domestic presence in order to have a meaningful presence on the routes it flies on, adding that going forward it will be a mix of both domestic and international operations. “International operations will also play an important role. It will be a mix of domestic and international with 70 per cent domestic and 25-30 per cent international,” he said.
The airline has received government’s approval to fly to nine countries, including Iran, Uzbekistan and Kazakhastan. Prock-Schauer said the airline has seen increased profitability in the last fiscal and also corned around nine per cent market share. He, however, did not divulge specific numbers. Earlier, he inaugurated the airline’s Aviation Security Training Institute (ASTI), which has the approval from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). ASTI will conduct aviation security training for its security staff, cockpit and cabin crew or personnel of all stakeholders covering security areas at airports as mandated by BCAS.
“ASTI is in line with our efforts to conduct aviation security classroom and e-learning training courses covering a wide range of issues, including safety and facilitation issues,” said Prock-Schauer. This institute is also authorised and equipped to provide training to other airlines for the security requirements as per regulatory guidelines.