GoAir- the fastest growing airline in the world made history on 11 October, 2018, when it commenced its inaugural International operations with its first non-domestic flight between Delhi (DEL), Mumbai and Phuket (HKT). The flight also marked the first-ever direct flight from India to Phuket.
Speaking on the occasion, the elated Mr. Jeh Wadia, CEO of GoAir said “With great pride and humility we announce that Phuket is our first international route. The level of interest from Indian travellers has been excellent. Thanks to Gulu Lalvani, who convinced me to open-up Phuket to the Indian market, we are making Phuket our Thailand hub. We already have routes from Mumbai and Delhi to Phuket, and by the end of next year we will increase this to 10 cities flying direct to Phuket.”
“With the introduction of these flights, GoAir aims to amplify and replicate its domestic success story, redefining its fly smart experience and value proposition in the aviation industry.” He added
India is a country of more than 1.3 billion people with a rapidly growing appetite for international travel. World Bank data shows that almost 22 million Indians travelled overseas in 2017 while the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) predicts that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. That these figures look set to more than double in three years is no surprise to Mr. Gulu Lalvani, Chairman of Royal Phuket Marina.
Congratulating GoAir and Jeh Wadia on commencing their International operations with the first-ever direct flight from India to Phuket, Mr. Gulu Lalvani, Chairman of Royal Phuket Marina said that” “It is heartening to witness a direct connectivity between Phuket and India. I firmly believe that the new services offered by GoAir will greatly contribute to the growth of tourism of Thailand. We look forward to working together with GoAir towards our goal of establishing Phuket International Airport as the Gateway to Thailand.
“We will also soon be flying into Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok. Thailand is a big part of our international expansion, it is a destination popular with Indian travellers and Phuket is at the heart of that,” explained Mr. Wadia. “Ninety percent of our fleet are new and within six months this will be 100%. We placed an order for 164 planes and have taken delivery so far of 41. Our plans for Phuket and the region are big.”
‘The ONLY grudge / resentment everyone had was the harrowing experience of deboarding / reboarding the flight at Bangkok airport, especially while going back to India and now with GoAir having commenced direct flight to Phuket ,the travel time will be cut short by 4-5 hours providing tourists a great relief” said Mr.Jeh Wadia of GoAir.
The start of direct flights to Phuket could not have come at a better time for the island. Opening up Phuket to the second largest country in the world, will help to soften the impact declining arrivals from China.
I see First ever direct flight from India to Phuket International Airport by GoAir as the “Gateway to Thailand,” Highlighting the enormous potential Phuket offers , Mr. Lalwani said “The upside for Phuket is clear and the potential is limitless. Key cities in India are connected by a four-hour flight and being the first mover in the market, I expect this route to be a huge success for GoAir. No doubt other Indian airlines will follow their lead.”
These direct three-to-four flights from India will benefit Phuket’s economy immensely. As well as bringing more lucrative Indian weddings to Phuket, their average holiday spend is high. Typically May and June have the lowest hotel occupancy in Phuket, yet this is the school holiday period in India and a time when many Indians travel. GoAir’s direct flights will help to provide a big boost to the island’s tourism businesses during that period,” added Mr. Lalvani.
“India has the highest level of pollution in the world today and once Indian travellers realise they can go non-stop to the paradise island of Phuket, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Indian arrivals out number Chinese arrivals within three years.”
Owned by Waida Group, one of India’s oldest conglomerates established in 1736, GoAir is a leading LCC in India and was recently reported to be the fastest growing airline in the world by Routes Online.