GoFirst is looking to expand its reach and presence in the Thailand aviation market in a big way using the support it is getting from the TAT and the Thailand government. The airline’s top management had a detailed meeting with Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia & South Pacific, and TAT recently in Delhi.
According to a top official of the airline, the airline company is looking at further consolidation of their market share on the India – Thailand route by launching at least one new destination in the SE Asian country as well as going deeper into the market through interline arrangements with local air carriers.
Without divulging the new destination, the official said that they are looking at opening the route with one or two weekly flights to start with before expanding it further after analysing the market demand. He said that these are new destinations and the market demand has not been tested before.
The official said that the company has a Regional Head based in Bangkok who is also exploring new business partnerships in the market with local carriers, hospitality, and event companies.
As first movers into Thailand in general and Phuket in particular, GoFirst enjoys the highest market share among Indian carriers, the official said. Out of the total passenger traffic between India and Thailand, the carrier enjoys a 15 per cent market share. In terms of seat capacity share between India and Thailand, GoFirst enjoys 69 per cent market share among Indian carriers and 60 per cent market share of all LCC seats put together on the route, the official said citing the April-May, 2022 data.
GoFirst operates 4 daily flights from the Indian metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata to Phuket; and a daily flight to Bangkok. There has been a considerable increase in load factors since international scheduled flights have restarted. In May alone, there has been a 29 per cent rise in Indian traffic to Phuket. Among the international routes, GoFirst continues to focus on Maldives ( 3 daily flights) and the Middle East (Sharjah).
The official said that considering the limitations in terms of the flying range of the current A320 fleet, the company would be considering its international network expansion into the regions in which the airline is currently operating, like South East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia); Middle East (KSA) and Turkey. The official said that they are hopeful of some positive development in terms of new international routes in the season starting October-November this year.