Akasa Air, India’s newest airline took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Seattle, USA. Three months after aviation regulator DGCA gave the green light to Max planes, Akasa Air in November last year signed a deal with Boeing to purchase 72 Max aircraft.
Akasa Air, backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has teamed up with Aditya Ghosh, former CEO of IndiGo, and Vinay Dube, the former CEO of Jet Airways, to launch the carrier to tap into demand for domestic air travel. It received the no-objection certificate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in August 2021 to launch commercial flight operations.
Commenting on the successful delivery of the first aircraft on Thursday, Vinay Dube, Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Akasa Air, said, “this is indeed a symbolic milestone in the journey of Akasa Air, bringing us one step closer to the process of obtaining our Air Operator’s Permit (AOP) and leading to our commercial launch.”
In a statement, the airline said, “With a strong commitment to democratising the skies, the airlines’ total order of 72 aircraft includes 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 air carrier is set to begin operations at a time when the country’s aviation industry is gradually recovering from the massive impact of the COVID pandemic.
“We are grateful to Boeing and Griffin for their trust in us and for supporting us early in our journey. I, along with our team, are looking forward to receiving our first aircraft in Delhi early next week as it arrives from Seattle”. Dube added.
“We are honoured to deliver the first 737 MAX to Akasa Air, India’s newest airline focused on making air travel inclusive and affordable for all,” said Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO.
“Flying an advanced, environmentally progressive 737 MAX fleet with greater fuel efficiency and lower operating costs will enable Akasa Air to profitably serve the Indian market while passing those savings on to its passengers,” he added.
The 737 MAX family delivers superior efficiency, flexibility and reliability while reducing fuel use and carbon emissions. Providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle aeroplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience, the 737 MAX will be one of the key factors in ensuring that Akasa Air has a competitive edge in its home market, the statement stated.