GoAir’s change of name leaves aviation watchers baffled

Business Top Story

‘Earlier name was good; this is not the right time’

GoAir, an Indian airline run by the Wadia Group, has changed its brand name to Go First in a move that has puzzled aviation industry watchers.

Kaushik Khona, CEO of GoAir, informed The Observer: “We will come up with a press release with detailed information by the end of the day.”

On May 13, newspapers carried an advertisement that said “GoAir is now Go First. The airline where you come first.” The advertisement displayed Go First’s logo.

Tarun Shukla, aviation and defence editor of The Economic Times, tweeted a photo of the advertisement and wrote: “New branding, new livery, at GoAir.”

Harish Bijoor, a brand strategist, believes GoAir was a good name, and there was no need to change the branding.

“In aviation, ‘first’ holds the connotation of ‘first-class travel’, which might be attempted to exploit. But very simply I don’t believe the airline needed to change from GoAir to Go First,” Bijoor informed The Observer.

Industry watchers say this is not the right time to change the brand name of an airline.

Pratham Y, an aviation analyst, tweeted: “But isn’t rebranding an added expense when you are trying to reduce costs in ULCCs (Ultra Low-Cost Carriers) model.”

Some frequent travellers welcomed the move, while others said they are not satisfied with the service GoAir provides.

Pulkit Sinha, a frequent air traveller, tweeted: “…GoAir keeps on changing flight schedule. I booked a direct flight by paying extra and then they change my flight to an indirect one.”

Since a Janata Curfew was imposed in March 2020, the aviation industry is running in losses. Owing to the second wave of Covid-19, the airline business has further plummeted. 

According to a Business Standard report, GoAir incurred a net loss of Rs 1,346 crore in FY20.

A low-cost carrier, GoAir has an 8.4 per cent passenger share which helped it become the fifth largest Indian airline in 2017.


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