As the year 2023 comes to an end, Akasa Air has announced its plans for the upcoming year. The airline has received delivery of 2 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in December month. Akasa Air has huge ambitions for year 2024 in terms of International market and fleet expansion. In this article, lets discuss all the plans.
Growth Rate of 35%
Akasa Air since inception has grown rapidly. It became the fastest airline to reach a fleet of 20 aircraft. In August 2022, the airline started operations and by August 2023, it had a fleet of 20 aircraft. The 20th Boeing 737 MAX was high configured MAX 8-200 aircraft. It was the first MAX 8-200 for India.
By the end of Financial Year 2024, the airline is planning to grow its fleet from current 22 to 26. This marks a growth of 30%. In FY24, the airline is looking to ramp up its domestic network by a staggering 35 percent. Currently, it is operating to 17 Indian cities. In September, the airline received approval from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate international flights.
In India, to operate international flights, an airline needs to have 20 aircraft in its fleet. It reached a fleet of 20 aircraft in August month.
Akasa Air : International Flights to Middle East
Akasa Air received approval from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate international flights in September. After this, the airline started gaining approvals from foreign authorities to seek permission to add flights.
Akasa Air Chief Commercial Officer, Praveen Iyer said that in first phase of international expansion, the airline will operate to Doha, Kuwait, Jeddah and Riyadh. From earlier interactions with airline CEO Vinay Dube, it is clear that the airline was looking to start flights to United Arab Emirates specially Dubai. But due to lack of bilateral rights, the airline was unable to do so. Vinay Dube even advocated for opening up the Bilateral Air Service Agreement so that customers can have more options.
Furthermore, CEO also said that in coming time, the airline will look at Southeast Asian and Neighbouring Destinations for flights. For example : Vietnam, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc.
Three Digit Order
Since the inception of Calendar Year 2023, the airline officially said that it will be placing an order of more than 100 jets in this year. Today is the last day and unfortunately, the airline failed to place any such order. In October 2021, it placed an order of 72 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and CFM LEAP engines. In June this year, the airline extended this order by including 4 more jets during the Paris Air Show. Total order now stands at 76. Out of 76 jets, 22 have been delivered. After a gap of nearly 5 months, the airline received back-to-back delivery of 2 Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered as VT-YAU and VT-YAW.
Furthermore, it will be placing the three digit order in first half of 2024. By March, the airline will take delivery of 4 more Boeing 737 jets. In January 2023, the airline had a market share of 2.8 percent, which has now increased to 4.2 percent. At one point in this year, it had higher market share than SpiceJet. Last month, it topped in terms of On-Time Performance at 4 major Indian Airports.
Source : The Hindu Business Line