Late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air, the new entrant in the Indian civil aviation sector, said it will start international operations to destinations that match the capability of Boeing 737 MAX’ by the end of calendar 2023.
Vinay Dube, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Akasa Air told The Hindu in Bengaluru that the airline would introduce international flights by the end of this year and was currently in the process of evaluating location options based on the capability of MAX.’
“We are exploring destinations that MAX is capable of hitting. Our global services could be anywhere in the Middle East, in Nepal, East Coast of Africa, Indonasia, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or in several other destinations. As of now we don’t know where, but ideal ones could be in the five-hour flying range,’‘ he hinted.
To explore international routes, airlines have to apply to the government and based on the existing bilateral treaties between India and the newly proposed flying destination (country), airlines are assigned traffic and route rights.
According to Mr. Dube, Akasa Air has already placed orders for 72 aircraft worth $9 billion of which 18 have been delivered while the remaining would be received by March 2027.
“In addition to the existing order for 72 aircraft, we will make fresh orders, in triple digits, by the end of this year, to support our incremental growth in business. This will be a much larger order and will include narrow bodies/small planes that are suitable for tier 2 cities,’‘ he added.
Travel outlook incredibly bright
Future was incredibly bright for travel, and domestic travel had already picked up to pre-pandemic levels while the international market was yet to come back fully, Mr. Dube observed.
“It’s tough to give a micro forecast, but the macro forecast is something that we are counting on to order a hell of a lot of planes. The future is going to be incredibly bright for the travel industry,’‘ he added.
Elaborating on Akasa Air’s focus on technology, Mr. Dube said, “Tech is very near and dear to our heart. We are a zero legacy and 100% cloud airline. We have deployed the finest technologies for better digital experience of our passengers.’’