India’s ultra-low-cost airline Go First (founded as GoAir) has partnered with car rental company Eco Europcar to provide chauffeur-driven cars to backpackers. The service is part of the carrier’s bouquet of value-added services and includes airport transfers, local and inter-city transfers across cities. The initiative – launched across 100 cities in India including 25 airports - allows Go First’s passengers to pre-book rides from airports, to their destinations from its website. The booking is available under ‘Car Rental’ in the site’s GoXtras section.
Eco Europcar is a joint venture between Delhi-based Eco Rent A Car and French car rental firm Europcar Mobility Group founded in Paris.
Earlier in March, Europcar had extended a strategic alliance with ECO Rent a Car and Shouqi Car Rental in China for its Europcar brand. Europcar is present in more than 140 countries, with wholly-owned subsidiaries, franchisees and a network of alliance partners, according to the company’s press release issued on March 3, 2021.
“Through Eco Europcar, GoAir will be offering chauffeur-driven cars from mid-to-luxury segment including the likes of Tata, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota Coaches, Tempo Traveller and last but not the least, Chrysler Stretch Limousines too," GoAir Chief Executive Officer Kaushik Khona said.
The joint effort is to offer a “door-to-door, convenient, safer and affordable experience to our customers,” he added.
Easing Travellers’ Burden
The move comes in wake of travellers’ constant worry of finding reliable taxi services from airports to their destinations. Most times, travellers – especially foreigners - are taken for a ride by illegal taxi operators who charge high or coarse passengers to make unrequired stops.
The companies intend to mitigate these passenger concerns, especially using Eco Europcar’s Global Positioning System- (GPS) enabled cars and 24X7 helpline (+91-9773881881).
An expansive list of chauffeur-driven vehicles provides assured pickups and drops. With this initiative, the carrier is also promising to save customers from last-minute cancellations by drivers.
Hygiene is Priority
In addition, the service comes with comfortable and hygienic vehicles as Eco Europcar’s cabs are completely sanitised.
“Together, we will not only provide GoAir travellers with a comfortable travel experience but also owing to the deep sanitisation process that we follow, coupled with best-in-class customer service and well-trained staff, we will enhance GoAir’s value proposition of ‘Fly Smart’ with ‘Drive Smart’, Eco Europcar Managing Director Rajesh Loomba said.
The ultra-low-cost airline – which was adjudged the best on-time performance among airlines in the country for 15 consecutive months (between September 2018 and November 2019) – operates to 28 domestic and 10 global destinations.
As of September 30, 2021, the carrier owned by Indian business conglomerate Wadia Group operates 57 aircraft, while it had flown 83.8 million passengers from March 31, 2010, to December 31, 2020.
Eco Europcar has offices in India in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin, Goa, Coimbatore, Lucknow and 80 other cities in India.
GoAir Rebranded Itself to Go First
The Wadia Group-owned airline GoAir had rebranded itself as Go First, earlier in May this year, “to fully embrace the ultra-low-cost airline model”, a report from The Hindu BusinessLine said.
With the rebrand, the carrier was looking at wooing young travellers with “attractive” fares, a squeaky-clean flying experience and on-time performance among others.