Sunday, July 14, 2024

Akasa Air takes delivery of its first 737 Max Aircraft

Akasa Air had on November 26 last year signed a deal with Boeing to purchase 72 Max aircraft. The airline, backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, took delivery of the first 737 Max aircraft from Boeing. The airline had last month released the photographs of its first Boeing 737 Max plane from the production facility in Portland, US, as it got ready for delivery.

A statement from the airline last month said the Max aircraft will be powered by the fuel-efficient CFM LEAP B engine. “Providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience, the 737 Max is one of the strategic factors that will give Akasa Air a competitive edge in its dynamic home market,” it said.

Three months after Indian aviation regulator DGCA gave the green light to Max planes, Akasa Air had on November 26 last year signed a deal with Boeing to purchase 72 Max aircraft.  

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.”

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.

In a statement, the airline said, “With a strong commitment to democratize 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.

The industry is also set to witness more competition as Jet Airways readies to take off again after a gap of nearly three years. The airline now plans to restart commercial flight operations in the July-September quarter this year. Air India too, after being acquired by the Tata Group, is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the carrier regains its lost glory.

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