Mumbai headquartered Wadia group owned low cost carrier Go Air is foraying into Coimbatore and Mangalore this month. The pandemic has been a difficult time for the airline industry and more so in India – where there has not been any bail out from the government. Instead, the airline industry has had to be content with a cap on capacity and also a fare band – with both minimum and maximum fares being capped. While initially the fare cap was in place until November, the same has been extended until the end of February.
This is the airline’s second stint at Coimbatore – where it had flights from Mumbai back in 2007-08. As part of its re-structuring the airline had scaled back operations until the airline went for fleet renewal, brand and corporate changes.
Coimbatore is the second largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu and 16th largest urban agglomeration in India. Apart from being an industrialised city, it also acts as a gateway to certain regions in the neighbouring state of Kerala and the hill station of Ooty.
The airport is part of the top 25 airports in the country by passenger traffic and in the last fiscal year served 2,38,232 international passengers and 26,04,603 domestic passengers.
GoAir will connect Coimbatore to Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai from December 24, 2020.
G8 993 BLR0840 – 0940CJB 14567
G8 993 BLR0920 – 1020CJB 3
G8 994 CJB1010 – 1110BLR 14567
G8 994 CJB1050 – 1150BLR 3
G8 331 BOM1240 – 1430CJB Daily
G8 332 CJB1500 – 1650BOM Daily
G8 926 MAA1655 – 1755CJB Daily
G8 927 CJB1825 – 1925MAA Daily
This coastal city of Karnataka also serves parts of Northern Kerala. Mangalore is an industrialised city and seventh largest port in the country. Coffee exports are one of the prime exports from the region. While Mangalore has been in the news for all the wrong reasons from an aviation perspective, the city carried 5,71,226 international passengers and 13,05,068 domestic passengers in the last fiscal.
GoAir will connect Mangalore to Bengaluru and Mumbai and the flights will be effective December 24, 2020.
G8 995 BLR1150 – 1250IXE 14567
G8 995 BLR1230 – 1330IXE 3
G8 996 IXE1320 – 1420BLR 14567
G8 996 IXR1400 – 1500IXE 3
G8 335 BOM0740 – 0900IXE 234567
G8 335 BOM0910 – 1030IXE 1
G8 338 IXE0930 – 1100BOM 234567
G8 338 IXE1100 – 1230BOM 1
GoAir is not the first airline to launch a new station or a route post revival of domestic aviation since May 25, 2020. Star Air became the first carrier post resumption of air services to launch a new route. This was followed by multiple new routes across airlines and a new station by Spicejet – which launched Darbhanga in November, under the RCS-UDAN scheme.
With multiple route closures, shifting demand patterns and limited capacity in the market – there may not be an apt time to re-jig the network to better adjust to the “new normal”. Like most routes in its network, GoAir will have to compete with market leader IndiGo on this route and the inconsistent timings across the week could be a minor disadvantage in the market which it is newly entering. However, in winter months – this helps the airline stay away from the foggy north where disruptions could mean additional trouble in strained times.
However, any new station comes in with costs – related to new infrastructure, set-up of facilities at the airports along with marketing and distribution and one wonders if this is the right time to invest in such activities or is it wise to strengthen existing stations by connecting them within the existing network?
However, both these airports are highly sought after by international carriers but the bilateral restrictions have meant that foreign carriers have not made inroads to these airports. Indian carriers can launch flights to foreign airports and there would be potential to operate to Singapore and other points in South East Asia from Coimbatore and the Gulf region from Mangalore. While currently international travel is restricted, this wont be the case forever!