Akasa Air: Why is everyone waiting for Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s airlines?

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Akasa Air, a brand of SNV Aviation Private Limited, is an Indian low-cost airline headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. The airline plans to start flights in July of 2022, after getting its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. It was founded in December 2021. Akasa air’s vision is that “the Sky embraces everyone, and so air travel should be inclusive and affordable for all.” Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is famous for his successful stock investments. He has partnered with IndiGo’s Aditya Ghosh and Vinay Dube to launch the airline. Akasa Air plans to fly 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023 across domestic routes in the country. The airline plans to operate approximately 70 planes in the next four years and has placed an order of 72 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The deal was signed at the 2022 Dubai Air Show. It has recently received its code from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and will be called ‘QP’.

Also read | Tata-owned Air India set to make one of the largest aircraft deals in history

Akasa Air Boeing 737 Max landed in Delhi

Akasa air has finally arrived, with its first plane, Boeing 737 Max landing in Delhi. The aircraft touched down at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on 21st June 2022. It flew all the way from Seattle in the United States. It was only last week that the airline took delivery of its first 737 Max aircraft from Boeing in Seattle. People really liked the look of the aircraft and shared their excitement to travel in it on social media. Vinay Dube, Founder, Akasa Air,  said, “The arrival of our first aircraft is a very happy moment for all of us and marks an important milestone, bringing us closer to our vision of building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline”.

What routes will Akasa Air run on?

While no announcement has been made in this regards, it is expected that Akasa air will serve the major domestic routes with a very low cost to attract the potential flyers. The company recently announced plans to fly 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023 across domestic routes in India, focusing on metro to tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Everyone is waiting for the official announcement from the airlines. It may be possible that once the airline starts operations and runs smoothly, it may extended it services internationally as well.

Watch | Report: Air India considers buying 300 planes

Will Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Akasa Air bring revolution in Indian Aviation Industry?

Due to the Covid pandemic, the aviation sector is facing a huge downfall, leaving many people in the industry unemployed. However, the launch of Akasa air especially due to its ultra low cost, may result in a boom for the industry. Many people wish to travel by air but can’t because of the high ticket cost, but if the price lowers, the sale of tickets will increase and help the aviation sector to grow. It will also help provide employment to more people. If the tickets become low cost, people would want to travel more frequently. All this can bring a revolution in the aviation sector.

Will Akasa Air work on the Wizz Air and Ryan Air Model in India?

Ryan Air and Wizz Air are both Europe-based airlines that also provide people with low cost travels. Due to this, they are proving to be a boom for the aviation sector there, and are getting a lot of customers. However there is a neck-to-neck competition between both of them, on which one is better. Akasa air also works on a similar model. However in India, Akasa would be the first ultra low cost airline, and everyone wants to see what it serves. 

Also read | International Air Transport Association says aviation industry’s return to profit is ‘within reach’ in 2023

What strategy will be taken by existing airlines in India after Akasa Air launch?

With the launch of the ultra low-cost airline, Akasa air, the existing airlines like Indigo, Vistara, Spice Jet, etc. are expected to face further pressure. However, in response to the launch of low cost airline, they can also start to lower their ticket prices and improve their services. The tough competition would also force the other airlines to perform better than they were doing before, which may also aid in the growth of the aviation sector after the pandemic damages. Speaking at the post-earnings conference call on July 27, IndiGo’s CFO Jiten Chopra said: “The strength of our balance sheet is our biggest defence in the fight against Covid19 and we will continue to enhance this strength by focusing on cost reduction, liquidity enhancement and capacity addition”. CAPA said that it expects Indian airlines to lose a consolidated $4.1 billion in FY2022, similar to that in FY2021.

Everyone is excited to travel in the ultra low cost airline, and to see will it prove to be a boom for the aviation sector. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is also known for his successful investments and hence everyone is looking forward to his airlines. Also his partners, IndiGo’s Aditya Ghosh and Vinay Dube would help him strengthen the business as they already have a lot of knowledge about this industry. 

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