The airline, which aims to have a fleet of 72 Boeing 737 Max planes, was earlier scheduled for a launch in June
Akasa Air, the Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed new airline, has hit turbulence before take-off.
“As we get closer to the airline launch date, we can now confirm refined estimates on our timelines. We expect our first aircraft delivery by early June 2022, with the intention to start commercial operations in July 2022,” news agency PTI quoted Akasa Air’s CEO Vinay Dube as saying.
Earlier in March, Dube had at an aviation event said that the airline is planning to launch its commercial operations in June.
Here’s everything we know of the new airline — from their investors to their aircraft to their logo.
Who’s who at Akasa Air
The main man behind India’s newest airline-to-be is Vinay Dube. Before Akasa, Dube held leadership roles with American Airlines, Sabre Inc, Delta Air Lines, Jet Airways and GoAir.
Ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, as per Business Standard reports, has put in Rs 247.50 crore into the airline. Besides him, the airline also has the backing of Aditya Gosh, the former chief of IndiGo.
Additionally, Madhav Bhatkuly, founder of investment fund New Horizon, has also put in money into the company.
The company also has Praveen Iyer, an ex-employee of Jet, as its chief commercial officer.
Neelu Khatri, who was until recently the president of Honeywell Business in India, is the head of corporate affairs.
Ankur Goel, former head of IndiGo’s treasury and investor relations, will be Akasa’s chief financial officer.
Aim of Akasa
As per its website, the new airline believes that the “sky embraces everyone, and so air travel should be inclusive and affordable for all”.
Earlier in October, Dube had said about the airline’s mission statement: “Akasa Air will serve all Indians regardless of their socio-economic or cultural backgrounds with warmth, inclusiveness and respect. Because at the end of the day, it is these qualities that connect people and cultures and help Indians realise their dreams.”
In an attempt to achieve its aim of being the ‘nation’s most dependable, affordable and greenest airline’, the company has signed a deal with Boeing on 26 November last year to purchase 72 Boeing 737 Max planes.
In January, Dube had told the media that Akasa Air would not be an ultra-low cost carrier and that the airline “had some surprises that go beyond anybody else in our category” in store for a comfortable journey which will be revealed later.
“Our focus will always be on the customer. We will always be very warm, courteous and efficient in the way we serve them,” said Dube in an interview to Times of India.
In the same report, Dube also revealed that the Mumbai-based airline had started hiring for pilots, cabin crew and airport staffers.
The Rising A
In December 2021, the company unveiled its brand logo, ‘The Rising A’. The company said that ‘The Rising A’ symbolises the warmth of the rising sun, the effortless flight of a bird and the dependability of an aircraft wing.
Unveiling ‘The Rising A’ of Akasa Air
Inspired by elements of the sky, The Rising A symbolises the warmth of the sun, the effortless flight of a bird, and the dependability of an aircraft wing.
Always moving upwards. Always inspiring to rise. pic.twitter.com/vzMDT9gEmv
— Akasa Air (@AkasaAir) December 22, 2021
The airline, which received its no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in October 2021, is now awaiting its Air Operators Permit.
Speaking on this, Dube was quoted as saying on Monday, “We are working closely with the regulatory authorities and following all the required processes to comply with the requirements to obtain this certification. We hope to satisfy all regulatory requirements for this certification at the earliest.”
Aviation consultancy firm CAPA had in November said that take at least another three to four years — once it scales up and achieves a competitive cost base — to cause any significant disruption.
So, will Akasa Air soar in the skies or will it crash to the ground? We shall wait and see.
With inputs from agencies