After being in the skies for 15 years, Wadia Group-owned GoAir has rebranded itself as ‘Go First’ as the airline focuses on ultralow-cost business model while the aviation industry is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement comes amid reports that the airline was preparing for an initial share sale to raise funds for its ambitious expansion plans. The Go First as ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) would operate single aircraft type across its fleet, which currently has both Airbus A320 and A320neos planes in operation. With a market share of 7.8 per cent in March 2014, the city-based airline breached the 10 per cent market share threshold for the first time in June 2014 and barring a few occasions it kept hovering in the sub-10 per cent range till the emergence of the pandemic last year.
The airline said that at the heart of the latest revamp is the full embrace of ULCC model and was in the process of transitioning all its operations under this new brand. The development comes against the backdrop of the airlines’ industry battling with lower passenger numbers and travel restrictions due to the second COVID-19 wave. With the youngest average fleet among Indian low-cost carrier, majority of which are A320neos, high-density seating, single aircraft type across its fleet, Go First CEO Kaushik Khona said the airline has been resilient during the really tough times of the past 15 months. “Even as the times continue to be extraordinary, Go First sees opportunities ahead. This rebranding reflects our confidence in the brighter tomorrow. The Go First Team will strive to deliver the brand and make ‘You Come First’ a reality,” he said. The airline’s Vice-Chairman Ben Baldanza said India is a fast developing airline market and consumers in the country are hugely value conscious; but are quite demanding when it comes to flying experience.