This move represents the airline’s latest effort to capitalize on the surge in travel demand within the world’s fastest-growing aviation market.
Akasa Air to Order 737 MAX
The negotiations for the contract are currently in progress, and an official announcement is anticipated during Wings India, the country’s largest civil aviation event scheduled for January 18-21, as per the two sources familiar with the ongoing discussions.
In response to queries from Reuters, an Akasa spokesperson stated that the airline refrains from commenting on speculations, while Boeing has not provided a response. The sources have chosen to remain anonymous due to the confidential nature of the details regarding the plane order.
Reuters is the first to provide insights into the deal, which adds to Akasa’s existing order book for 76 Boeing 737 MAX planes.
Akasa, India’s newest airline, has managed to secure a 4% market share since its commencement of operations in 2022. This stands in contrast to IndiGo’s dominant 60% and the combined 26% market share held by Tata Group airlines.
According to Chief Commercial Officer Praveen Iyer, as reported in the Indian newspaper Business Line in December, Akasa aimed to announce a three-digit aircraft order in early 2024, though specific details were not disclosed.
The initial source suggests that the new order for approximately 150 planes is likely to include options for future purchases.
Eyes New International Flights
The airline currently operates exclusively within the country, utilizing a fleet of approximately two dozen planes.
It faced challenges last year due to the sudden departure of around a tenth of its pilots, leading to a reduction in flights and a subsequent loss of market share. However, the airline has since indicated that it has overcome these issues.
Both sources reveal that Akasa’s new aircraft order is intended to support its expansion both domestically and internationally. The Boeing narrowbody planes being ordered will be configured to operate flights to nearby foreign destinations, such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East from India.
With the surge in post-COVID air travel demand in India, airlines are striving to meet this demand, setting industry records despite challenges in production slots.
IndiGo set a record in June by placing an order for 500 Airbus narrowbody planes, surpassing Air India’s combined purchase of 470 jets from Airbus and Boeing earlier in the year.
Akasa’s order represents a significant win for Boeing, which has faced competition from Airbus in the rapidly growing Indian market, where SpiceJet is among its other customers.
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