India's GoAir seeks government approval for international services

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Indian low-cost carrier GoAir is planning to launch international services, provided it receives permission from the Indian government to do so.

Chief executive Giorgio De Roni tells Flightglobal that the carrier, which operates a fleet of 13 Airbus A320s, has submitted an application to the minister of civil aviation seeking an exemption to regulations that require it to have a fleet of 20 aircraft before it can start flying internationally.

The airline recently submitted additional information requested by the minister and is hoping that the exemption will be granted soon.

De Roni says the airline would decide on which international routes it will serve once it receives its exemption, but has already been looking at potential services in the region.

"We have been working on some plans and [are] looking at different destinations on the Indian subcontinent," he says.

The airline would operate the flights at night to boost the utilisation of its fleet, which averages 13h per day per aircraft.

De Roni adds that it would initially focus on routes with a large amount of outbound traffic as the airline's brand is not as well recognised outside of India.

Although it is seeking to fly internationally, he says the airline's strategy remains focused on the domestic market, where there is still major growth potential.

"Last year there were around 60 million passengers out of a population of 1.2 billion," he says.

To support that growth, the airline will receive an additional eight A320s by July 2014, and has orders for 72 A320neos, the first of which will be delivered during the first quarter of 2016.