Indian budget carrier GoAir has announced it will expand its fleet size by March 2017. With an aim to expand its fleet size, the carrier also said it would recruit 500 crew members, including pilots.
The Mumbai-based carrier said it plans to induct five new aircraft to its fleet, which means the airline will have a fleet size of 26 aircraft to fly overseas by next year. "We will expand our fleet by up to 26 aircraft by the end of March next year. We need to build up for the expansion that we are going for. Every aircraft (inducted) needs 100 increase (in manpower) approximately. So we will naturally hire," Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, GoAir's CEO, was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.
The expansion of the fleet would automatically result in hiring employees. At present, GoAir has about 2,300 employees.
Schauer went on to explain that for every new aircraft the carrier requires about 14 pilots (to conduct smooth operations). Hence, for five new aircraft, GoAir aims to hire about 70 pilots. The Wadia group-owned airline has 21 aircraft in its fleet at present, which includes Airbus A320s and A320neos.
Earlier this month, GoAir reportedly received the government's approval to fly overseas to nine countries. Some of the countries include Iran, Uzbekistan and Kazakhastan. In June, GoAir signed deal for 72 Airbus A320 neos at the Farnborough International Airshow in the U.K. The deal is estimated to be about $7.73 billion, Livemint reported.
Five years ago, the budget carrier had placed an order with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus for 72 new A320 neo aircraft valued at about Rs. 32,400 crore on list price.
GoAir is soon planning a stock market listing, just like its competitors InterGlobe Aviation (IndiGo airlines), Jet Airways and SpiceJet. Talking about the airline's impending Initial Public Offering (IPO) debut, the CEO said the listing would happen at the right time.
"We are preparing ourselves (for the IPO). Its a question of timing, it is about the right timing. We are not in a hurry. We will wait for the right timing. We want to be well prepared. There are many things which we need to look at (before going to stock exchange)," Wolfgang Prock-Schauer was quoted as saying by the agency.
India, currently the fastest-growing civil aviation market in the world, reported yet another month of double-digit growth in passenger volumes in July. The domestic carriers flew 85.08 lakh (8.5 million) passengers last month.
GoAir recorded a market share of 8.4 percent in the month of July.