Budget carrier GoAir became the sixth domestic carrier to hit international skies with the launch of its inaugural flight to Phuket from New Delhi on Thursday.

The inaugural flight (G8 031) with 182 passengers on board was given a ceremonial flag off for Phuket in Thailand at 0100 hours on Thursday from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, the airline said in a release.

Besides the national carrier Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express, private carriers Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet also fly international.

GoAir’s first international service was operated by Airbus A320 Neo aircraft, the airline said, adding that it will soon mark the commencement of a direct service on New Delhi-Phuket route twice a week and on Mumbai-Phuket sector thrice a week.

“The launch of our first service to Phuket represents another step of transition from a domestic carrier to a global airline. Phuket is a key market in India and holds a significant base for business and tourism. We are delighted to welcome Phuket as a part of our new global network; we look forward to providing more flexibility of choice to our customers and contributing to this growth,” said Cornelis Vrieswijk, chief executive officer, GoAir.

GoAir became eligible to fly overseas two years ago when it took delivery of its 20th aircraft, which was also the first Airbus A320 Neo for the airline.

GoAir currently operates over 1,544 weekly flights across 23 domestic destinations with a fleet of 38 Airbus A320 planes, including 19 A320 Neos.

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