Wadia Group-controlled airline GoAir has rebranded itself as Go First, the company announced on Thursday.

The purpose of rebranding the 15-year-old airline is “to fully embrace the ultra-low-cost airline model” to gain an advantage over its peers.

The carrier is aiming at young travellers with the rebrand. To communicate this change, Go First is also revamping the brand identity.

“As young India changes the way it travels, seeking speed, convenience, and yet demanding value, Go First is determined to be part of the socio-economic momentum to chart its next phase of growth,” the airline said in a statement.

“With this change, Go First is poised for its next phase of growth as an ultra-low-cost carrier. The Airline is in the process of transitioning all its operations under this new brand,” it said.

The company’s Vice Chairman, Ben Baldanza said, “The combinations of attractive airfares, a squeaky-clean flying experience, well-sanitized flights and on-time performance are what Go First is designed to deliver. And that is exactly at the core of our brand and service.”

Baldanza, who has been an advisor to the company since 2018 and director since 2019 took over as the Vice-Chairman of the GoAir board in March this year as Jeh Wadia stepped down as Managing Director while staying on as a promoter of the company.

Experts’ take

According to the experts, the timing of the announcement may work in favour of the airline, however, the success of the rebrand will become more evident only once travel resumes.

“In terms of timing, possibly, this is a point of time where there is not too much clutter in launches and in terms of rebranding. So I think the timing is good, because public attention is quite there, in terms of looking at whatever is coming out in public space,” said brand strategy expert Harish Bijoor.

According to Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist and a former senior marketing executive at PepsiCo, Motorola & HP Asia, “GoAir’s rebranding is neither timely nor relevant. For one, air travel is down given the devastating second surge of Covid and large parts of the country under lockdown and at this point in time, a rebranding exercise for an airline category seems tone-deaf is unlikely to get most consumers’ attention. Further, competing on price with the “first ultra-low-cost airline” tag for an already low-cost carrier does not really give a potential flyer a fresh reason to try the airline.”