Wadia group-owned budget carrier GoAir is all set to fly international from October, with the first flight to operate on the Mumbai-Phuket route, a source privy to development said.
The bookings for the maiden international flight will commence soon and an announcement to this effect is expected to be made by Thursday, the source said.
The city-based airline, which became eligible to fly overseas more than two years ago when it took delivery of its 20th aircraft, which was also the first Airbus A320 Neo for the airline, will be the fifth domestic carrier to have international operations.
“We will be launching our international operations with a flight to Phuket (Thailand) from Mumbai in October. We have all regulatory approvals in place and the flight is expected to go into the system (bookings) in a week’s time,” the source told PTI.
The source said the airline is looking to launch three to four international destinations by March next year, adding the proposed Mumbai-Phuket service will be a daily operations.
GoAir spokesperson was not available for comments.
Thailand ambassador to India Chutintorn Gongsakdi had last week tweeted that, “Go Airlines (India) or GoAir has been approved as designate airline to fly to Thailand since August 10.”
The airline, which launched its domestic operations in November 2005, was in August 2016 granted rights to operate to nine countries, including China, Vietnam, Maldives, Kazakhstan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among others.
GoAir had planned to launch services on the international routes in October last year but had to defer the plan due to the grounding of some of the Pratt & Whitney engine-powered Airbus A320 Neo planes owing to engine glitches.
“We are mulling to have three to four international destinations in our flight network by this fiscal year and Male (Maldives) could be the next destination after Phuket,” the source said.
GoAir currently operates over 1,544 weekly flights across 23 destinations with a fleet of 38 Airbus A320 planes, including 19 A320 Neos.
Currently, national carrier Air India, its subsidiary Air India Express, private carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet have international flights. Tata-SIA run Air Vistara also is planning to launch services on overseas routes later this year.