Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air gets aviation ministry nod. Here’s more about the airline

Akasa Air, backed by billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, has said it has received initial clearance from the civil aviation ministry to launch the country’s latest ultra-low-cost carrier and expects to begin flights across India next year. Akasa Air chief executive officer Vinay Dube said in a statement the airline will continue to work with the regulatory authorities on all additional compliances required to successfully launch. “We are extremely happy and grateful to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for their support and for the grant of the NOC. We will continue to work with the regulatory authorities on all additional compliances required to successfully launch Akasa Air,” Dube said.

Here is what you need to know about Akaka Air:

1. Akasa Air is backed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, known as “India’s Warren Buffett” for his successful stock investments, and ex-Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube. Akasa Air also has former IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh on its board.

2. After the aviation ministry’s nod, it will also need clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

2. Akasa Air holding company, SNV Aviation Private Limited, said it aims to start operations by the summer of 2022.

3. The airline plans to operate approximately 70 planes in the next four years.

4. Airbus’ chief commercial officer Christian Scherer told PTI last week that his company is in talks with Akasa for an aircraft procurement deal.

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5. According to several media reports a couple of months ago, Akasa has been in discussions with US plane manufacturer Boeing to procure its B737 Max plane.

6. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala teamed up with Aditya Ghosh, former CEO of IndiGo – the country’s biggest carrier – and Dube to launch the carrier.

7. Dube is former CEO of Jet Airways – once India’s biggest private carrier before it stopped flying in April 2019. Jet was recently bailed out of bankruptcy.

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8. Ghosh, who spent a decade with IndiGo, was credited with IndiGo’s early success.

9. “At Akasa Air, we believe having a robust air transportation system is critical for our nation’s progress. It is this belief that has motivated us to create a modern, efficient, quality-conscious airline,” Dube said on Monday.

10. Dube said Akasa Air will serve everyone 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,” he added.

(With agency inputs)

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