Akasa Air, India’s newest low-cost carrier, has received approval from the government to operate international flights to Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha, and Kuwait. The airline expects to start international services “soon enough,” according to its chief Vinay Dube.
Akasa Air, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary in the aviation industry this August, is poised for rapid expansion.
Currently, Akasa Air operates a fleet of 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and is expecting to induct two more planes by the end of this year. The airline is also in the process of placing a triple-digit aircraft order in the next 75 days.
Akasa Air in a “Very Exciting Phase”
Dube said that Akasa Air is in a “very exciting phase” and is doing “strong financially.” He added that the airline has a good cash position and does not need any additional funding to place the triple-digit aircraft order.
Airline Plans to Start International Services Soon
On when the first international flight is likely to commence, Dube said that it is difficult to nail down a timeline at this point. He said that the Indian government is very efficient, but the airline will also have to work with the foreign governments concerned for various other approvals.
Akasa Air currently operates around 700 weekly flights to 16 cities in India. In September, the airline carried 5.17 lakh passengers and had a domestic market share of 4.2%.
Traffic Rights Secured for Key Destinations
Akasa Air received the green light from the Civil Aviation Ministry to operate flights to Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha, and Kuwait, signifying a pivotal step toward international operations.
The next step involves collaboration with the respective foreign governments for further approvals to commence international services.
Challenges Behind the Airline
The airline has also faced some challenges recently, including pilot shortages and cancellations of scheduled flights. However, Dube said that these issues are behind the airline now and it is squarely in growth mode.
India’s Growing Aviation Market
India is one of the fastest growing civil aviation markets in the world and domestic airlines have placed significant plane orders as they look to expand their operations. Akasa Air’s launch of international flights is a significant development for the airline and will allow it to tap into this growing market.
(With Inputs from PTI)