India has a brand-new airline in Akasa Air which launched its first flight between Mumbai and Ahmedabad on Sunday morning.
The airline will offer 28 weekly flights on this route, followed by the same frequency on Bengaluru -Kochi from August 13 and Bengaluru- Mumbai from August 19 making a total of 82 weekly flights available within the first few weeks of its launch. The airline aims to provide connectivity between metro and tier-2 and tier-3 cities instead of the cut-throat metro to metro routes.
Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia and Minister of State for Civil Aviation V. K. Singh attended the launch ceremony virtually. Minister Scindia called the occasion a “new dawn” for the Indian civil aviation sector.
“The sector across the world has been through a very trying time over the last decade or two. This was a sector which once saw a plethora of new entrants but the past decade has witnessed the closure of many a visionary airline. Therefore, this is a new dawn,” said Mr. Scindia.
Akasa Air is the first major airline to take to the skies in seven years since Tata Sons- Singapore Airline joint venture Vistara started operations in 2015. Though there have been several new regional carriers, some have shut shop, and a few others have suspended flights due to cash crunch.
“We are thrilled to finally begin our commercial journey and bring alive our vision of supporting India’s economic progress and building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline. Akasa Air’s empathetic and youthful personality, employee-friendly culture, customer-service philosophy, and tech-led approach will make this commitment a reality for us. We are now focused on delivering a flying experience unlike anything witnessed in the Indian skies thus far,” said Mr. Vinay Dube, Founder and CEO, Akasa Air.
The airline has two Boeing 737 MAX planes in its fleet and will be adding two of these planes every month to reach a total of 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023. Over the next four years the airline will add 54 aircraft, taking its total fleet size to 72.
The airline is founded by billionaire Mr. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala along with aviation veterans Mr. Vinay Dube, who was the CEO of Jet Airways until it closed down in April 2019, and Mr. Aditya Ghosh, who earlier helmed IndiGo.
“This was a sector which once saw a plethora of new entrants but the past decade has witnessed the closure of many a visionary airline”Mr. Jyotiraditya ScindiaMinister for Civil Aviation