Good news for budget travelers! Your options for flying on budget will soon expand as India’s newest airline, Aksasa Air, is all set to begin commercial operations by the end of this month.
The airline announced yesterday that it has obtained the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). This certificate implies that Akasa Air meets all the regulatory and compliance requirements and is ready to fly. It has already acquired a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in October 2021.
Expressing his gratitude to the Indian Government for guiding and supporting them through the rigorous AOC process (which for the first time was conducted digitally on the government’s newly-launched eGCA platform), Vinay Dube, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Akasa Air, has noted that this marks the start of their “journey towards building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline”.
Akasa Air Will Begin Flight Operations with Two Aircraft
The low-cost Indian airline has decided to begin its services as early as possible to meet the growing air travel demand across the country. Akasa Air (airline code -QP) will start off commercial operations later this month with just two aircraft in its fleet. Akasa’s maiden Boeing 737 MAX aircraft arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport on June 21. The airline has also provided a sneak peek of its inflight crew’s uniform, which featured custom trousers, comfortable jackets, and sneakers (a welcome break from the usual inflight crew uniform norms).
What Routes Will Akasa Air Serve?
Although there has been no official confirmation yet as to where Akasa will fly, reports suggest that the airline will tap on all major domestic routes, with focus on tier-2 and tier-3 cities along with metro cities, by offering cheap flight tickets to domestic travelers. The airline may also soon offer international routes after establishing a firm base in the domestic market.
Akasa Air Expansion Plans
Akasa Air is seemingly keen on expanding its fleet first. In line with its commitment to environment-friendly operations, the airline has placed an order for 72 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes, powered by fuel-efficient CFM engines. It plans to have 18 aircraft in its fleet by the end of the financial year 2022-23 and then gradually add 12-14 aircraft every month, thus receiving its order of 72 Boeing aircraft in the next five years. Apart from Boeing, it is also said that the airline is in talks with Airbus to expand its fleet.
As for the destinations served, chances are the airline might begin overseas operations in the second half of 2023 as a domestic airline would be eligible to operate international flights only when its fleet consists of a minimum of 20 aircraft, as per Indian regulations.
Nevertheless, the airline promises its customers ‘warm and efficient customer service, reliable operations, and affordable fares.’
Understanding the Hype Around Akasa Air
The entry of India’s youngest airline, registered as SNV Aviation, into the country’s aviation industry is much-awaited. Indian billionaire, stock trader, and investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala owns majority stocks in Akasa Air and former Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube, an aviation industry stalwart, is at its helm. This low-cost carrier, which aims to cater to budget travelers, is expected to further facilitate the recovery of the COVID-hit aviation industry. Moreover, the fact that this airline is backed by none other than the master at stock investments, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, is also the reason why all eyes are on Akasa Air.