Akasa Air will expand internationally, not an ultra-low-cost airline
Akasa Air, India's newest airline, promises to provide a lot of technology and new experience to the country's air travel demand
Akasa Air was rumoured to be India's first ultra-low-cost carrier for quite some time. For the first time, the situation has been formally clarified. While the airline is currently awaiting the much-needed air operators certificate (AOC), it is scheduled to start flying in the middle of this year.
In an interview with The Times Group, CEO Vinay Dube clarified rumours about Akasa's business approach. The CEO of Akasa debunked any claims that the company was a ULCC, saying, "We are an LCC. Initially we were incorrectly characterized as a ULCC, but I would say we would be a budget carrier. We will have a single fleet type, a single class of service, and all of the other traits that go with a normal budget carrier. But I would say what we would like to do in addition to that is have a warm and efficient customer service, a very dependable offering to our customers, and of course be very affordable.
The carrier, like other LCCs in the country, will not offer a premium economy or business class, but will provide buy-on-board services. Vinay Dube believes that there is more than enough room for Akasa Air in India's aviation market.
Dube also believes that the company's seasoned founding team will make sound business judgments from the start, which will be realised over the next ten years.
The Akasa airline will likely concentrate on connecting metros with tier-2 cities rather than significant trunk routes. The city in which Akasa will concentrate its efforts is still unknown. Representatives from the corporation are in discussions with airports in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, as well as the Airports Authority of India.
The carrier's summer launch plans have been unaffected by Covid's third wave in India. The firm intends to get its first aircraft in the second half of April, which is required for the completion of its AOC.
By March 2023, Akasa expects to receive 23 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with 14 to 16 more arriving per year after that. If Boeing is successful in delivering the 737s on time, all 72 aircraft will be delivered to Akasa in the following five years.
For the first time since the epidemic, pilots, cabin crew, and maintenance engineers are in high demand, thanks to Akasa. The carrier is anticipated to have little issue filling these roles in the months leading up to its projected summer launch.