Business Standard

Akasa to begin int’l ops on Mar 28

- DEEPAK PATEL

Akasa Air announced on Friday that it will operate its first internatio­nal flight between Mumbai and Doha from March 28. This makes the budget carrier the first Indian airline to take to global skies within 19 months of commencing its operations.

The carrier operated its first flight on the Mumbaiahme­dabad route on August 7, 2022.

As per the government regulation­s, an airline must have 20 planes in its fleet to start internatio­nal operations. Akasa Air currently has 23 B737 Max aircraft in its fleet and they service 20 cities in India.

Currently, 68 flights per week are operated by four carriers - Air India, Indigo, Qatar Airways and Vistara - between Mumbai and

Doha due to high demand. Indigo is the largest player on this route with 14 flights per week, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium. Akasa Air will operate eight flights per week on this route from March 28.

Vinay Dube, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Akasa Air, said the introducti­on of these flights connecting Doha with Mumbai, a key Indian commercial hub, will cater to a “diverse set of travellers from the two countries, facilitati­ng tourism, commerce and strengthen­ing bilateral ties”. “Our foray into Qatar marks the next phase of growth as we continue our journey towards becoming one of the world’s top 30 airlines by the turn of this decade”, he noted.

Akasa Air stated that the launch of flight operations to Qatar is in line with Qatar Tourism’s strategy that aims to make the country the fastestgro­wing tourism destinatio­n in the Middle East by 2030. Last month, Akasa Air at Wings India Summit 2024 placed an order for 150 B737 Max aircraft with Boeing. This order comprises B737 Max 8200 and B737 Max 10. These planes will be delivered between mid-2027 and 2032. The new order means that Akasa Air has ordered a total of 226 Max aircraft from Boeing to date.

Previously, the airline ordered 76 Max aircraft. Out of these 76 planes, 23 have been delivered to the airline. The airline expects deliveries of the remaining 53 aircraft by mid-2027.

 ?? ?? Akasa stated that the launch is in line with Qatar tourism’s strategy
Akasa stated that the launch is in line with Qatar tourism’s strategy

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