Skift Breaking News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

India’s Newest Carrier Akasa Air to Begin Commercial Operations From August 7

2 months ago

Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, will be taking to the skies on August 7 with its first flight connecting the country’s financial center — Mumbai with Ahmedabad in western India.

Akasa will operate 28 weekly flights between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. From August 13 onwards, the airline will start operating 28 weekly flights between Bengaluru, more popularly known as India’s Silicon Valley, and Kochi — a city in the coastal state of Kerala.

The bookings for flights are now open. The airline that claims to have India’s youngest and greenest fleet, will be operating the brand-new Boeing 737 Max aircraft on both routes. Akasa plans to add two aircraft to its fleet each month, in its first year.

In an interview with Skift, Vinay Dube, the airline’s founder and CEO, had highlighted that the airline’s network strategy would focus on establishing a strong pan-India presence linking metropolitan cities to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across the country.

“We will adopt a phased approach to support our network expansion plans, progressively connecting more cities, as we add two aircraft to our fleet each month, in our first year,” said Praveen Iyer, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Akasa Air.

Calling the airline unlike anything experienced in the category thus far, Dube reiterated the importance of providing an efficient customer service, a reliable and dependable network, and affordable fares.

The airline will be offering buy-on-board meal service through Cafe Akasa.

Airlines

India’s Newest Airline Akasa Air Cleared For Takeoff

3 months ago

It’s official: India has a new airline. The government granted Akasa Air its air operator certificate, without which the startup could not begin revenue flights, on Thursday, and allowing passenger service to begin later this month.

“We now look forward to opening our flights for sale, leading to the start of commercial operations by late July. This will begin our journey towards building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline,” Akasa founder and CEO Vinay Dube said in a statement.

Dube, in an interview with Skift earlier in July, said the airline aimed to increase the number of Indians who fly — rather than take the train or buses — when they travel around the country, rather than capture marketshare from competitors, including market leader IndiGo and Tata-owned Air India. This strategy has proven very successful in other developing markets, for example, in Mexico where discounter Volaris has become the country’s largest airline with a business model focused on shifting bus riders to flyers.

Akasa will launch with two Boeing 737 Max aircraft, and plans to grow by one aircraft per month through the end of the 2023 fiscal year. The airline plans to operate 72 aircraft within five years.

(Boeing/Akasa Air)

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