Indian low-cost airline Akasa Air has announced plans on Friday to launch its first commercial flight in June, according to Chief Executive Vinay Dube. The airline is working hard to get all relevant licenses to operate after obtaining its first Boeing 737-Max aircraft in April of last year. 

Details behind the new Indian carrier

The relatively new airline carrier which was founded in 2020, is backed by Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. Together with former chief executives of IndiGo and Jet Airways, Jhunjhunwala has been keen to tap into long-term prospects for domestic air travel in India as its aviation industry continues to recover post-Covid. 

In October last year, Akasa Air received initial clearance from India’s civil aviation ministry to start operations. The following month saw Akasa Air place an order for 72 Boeing 737-Max aircraft, which is valued at nearly $9 million.

The airline, based in Bangalore, aims to have 18 aircraft up and running within 12 months from launch and will have 72 planes in operation in 5 years, according to Chief Executive Vinay Dube. 

The new airline will fly within India with no plans as of yet to serve India internationally. It has not been disclosed which cities the carrier would serve. 

Akasa Air will be facing strong competition from the likes of Indigo, SpiceJet, and Jet Airways, to name a few. However, as argued on its website, entering the Indian aviation industry was a positive move that has been welcomed because it provides more options for passengers to choose from. 

The website continues to justify the existence of Akasa Air by commenting that the prices of tickets will likely be lower if airlines are forced to become more competitive and stand out to passengers by offering deals and discounts on tickets. 

Elsewhere in news regarding the Indian aviation industry, major Gulf carrier Emirates announced earlier this week that they shall be resuming pre-pandemic levels of service to India.

What do you think about India’s newest airline? What challenges do you think they will face?

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