Akasa Air will place a “significantly” large order for new narrowbody jets this year, as the start-up budget airline wants to capitalise on increasing domestic demand and commence international flights, according to its CEO.
The 200-day-old airline has received 17 Boeing 737 MAX planes out of a total order of 72 aeroplanes due in March 2027.
“We are intending to put another aircraft order by the end of this year that will be much greater than the 72 aircraft order we have placed.”Vinay Dube said in an interview, without specifying a figure
The new order would be for narrowbody planes, according to Akasa’s founder, a former CEO of now-defunct full-service carrier Jet Airways.
Dube did not indicate whether the order will go to Boeing or Airbus, but budget carriers often prefer to employ a single narrowbody model to help manage costs.
The order plans come at a time when travel demand in India has experienced a dramatic recovery following COVID-19, giving it the world’s aviation market with the fastest rate of growth, with capacity exceeding 2019 levels and passenger counts inching near.
In an effort to update its ageing fleet and compete with Gulf rivals like Emirates for international passenger business, Air India announced the largest single airline order ever on Tuesday, ordering 470 jets.
According to consultant CAPA India, Indian airlines are expected to acquire 1,500 to 1,700 jets over the next couple of years, including maybe 500 planes from IndiGo, the largest airline in the nation and a competitor of Akasa.
In order to meet the requirements of the Indian government, Akasa must have 20 aircraft in its fleet by the end of the next three months, according to Dube.
He continued, “By the end of the year, we want to be flying globally.” The airline plans to fly to locations in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East that are serviced by the 737 MAX.
On the domestic market, Dube said Akasa would concentrate on its plan to link smaller cities with the nation’s major metros at a time when demand is still robust despite expensive ticket costs.
He remarked, “Everything is expanding like gangbusters. The demand will keep growing and growing and growing throughout India as a whole.”
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