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Wadia group plans to start cargo airline

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May start institute to train technical staff

BIG PLANS: Mr Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir, at a press conference in Chennai on Tuesday. Bijoy Ghosh
BIG PLANS: Mr Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir, at a press conference in Chennai on Tuesday. Bijoy Ghosh

Our Bureau

Chennai, March 21

The Wadia group, promoters of the low-cost airline GoAir, is looking at other areas of investment in the aviation industry, including a cargo airline.

Mr Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir, told a press conference on Tuesday that the group hoped to take a decision in a month or two on the cargo airline, likely to be named GoCargo. The group would also look at other areas for investment in the aviation industry, including starting an institute to train technical staff.

Not under GoAir banner

He said that the proposed cargo airline and the other investments would be separate investments and would not come under the GoAir banner.

Mr Wadia said there was tremendous scope for a cargo airline in the country and the group planned to tap this potential. Likewise, he anticipated an increase in demand for technical personnel and pilots following the huge growth in the air passenger traffic.

GoAir, which started operations on November 4, 2005, now has 20 flights a day covering 11 cities. This would go up to 28 flights a day covering 14 cities from April.

The airline had bases in Mumbai, where it now stationed two aircraft, and Chennai, where it had one aircraft. Over time, the airline would have bases in Delhi and Kolkata too, and planned to station four to six aircraft in each of these bases. GoAir operates A320 class of aircraft.

Official carrier

He said GoAir was the official carrier for the India-England one-day international cricket series starting on April 1, for which it had signed an agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India. It would operate special flights to Delhi, Goa, Kochi, Guwahati, Ranchi, Indore and Mumbai - all venues for the matches - carrying players of both the teams, national and international media persons. It would also auction a few seats on each flight to the Indian public.

Related Stories:
GoAir may tap pvt equity to purchase new aircraft
GoAir announces acquisition of 20 A-320 aircraft
Air cargo biz attracts airlines, but faces infrastructure hurdles

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 22, 2006)
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