Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air welcomes its first Boeing 737 Max aircraft in India, flights to start by July 2022 | Aviation News


India’s newest low cost airline backed by ace investor – Akasa Air – has received its first of 72 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. The delivery of Akasa Air’s first aircraft gets the airline one step closer to receiving its Air Operator’s Permit (AOP), which is essential for the airline to begin commercial operations in the country. The airline received the ceremonial keys to the aircraft in Seattle, USA at the Boeing facility on June 15th, 2022. The plane had a brief layover in Iceland before arriving in India.  

Akasa Air is expected to begin flight operations from July 2022 as the new aircraft arrives at a time when India’s aviation market is witnessing a good recovery following a long slump because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per credit rating agency ICRA, the recovery in domestic passenger traffic has been strong post-Omicron and has reached 98% of pre-COVID levels in April and May 2022. 

Akasa Air will join Jet Airways to make 2022 a good year for the Indian aviation market. Akasa Air placed an order for 72 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts, with an initial delivery of 18 aircraft by March 2023, followed by delivery of the remaining 54 aircraft over the course of the next four years.

The airline says they will be providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience. Commenting on the timely arrival of the aircraft, Vinay Dube, Founder, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, 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.

Akasa Air is a prime example of the progress made by Indian aviation in recent years and is also a testimony to the country’s vibrant start-up ecosystem. This is not just a significant milestone for us and Indian aviation, but it’s the story of a new India”, added, Dube.

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“We are proud to partner with Akasa Air as they embark on their journey towards making air travel inclusive and affordable for all,” said Salil Gupte, president, Boeing India.

“India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and offers enormous growth and productivity opportunities for the aviation industry. We are excited that the advanced 737 MAX will help Akasa Air drive efficiencies in business and operations while providing its customers with a superior flying experience,” he added.