The youngest airline of India, Akasa Air has placed a mammoth order at the Wings India 2024. Today marked the conclusion of Day 2 of the Airshow. Akasa Air remains the only airline to place a major order. The airshow is being held at Hyderabad Begumpet Airport (BGP) from January 18 to 21.
Akasa Air Boeing 737 MAX Order
Late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed airline, Akasa Air has finally placed its much anticipated three-digit order. Originally expected in 2023, the order faced delays due to prolonged negotiations. Well, let us not talk about the past when the present has a lot of stuff.
Akasa Air has placed an order for 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Comprising of Boeing 737 MAX 8-200 and Boeing 737 MAX 10 models, this order will make sure that the airline gets continuous deliveries till the year 2032. These aircraft will aid the airline in enhancing its presence in the domestic and international markets.
With this order, the airline has crossed several milestones. It has become the first airline to place a major order at Wings India Airshow. Previously, such mammoth orders were placed at major airshows like Farnborough, Paris & Dubai. Notably, both Air India and IndiGo signed huge deals at the Paris Airshow in 2023.
Additionally, Akasa Air has become the first Indian airline in the history of civil aviation to have an orderbook of 200 aircraft within 17 months. It is the fastest airline in terms of having an orderbook equating double century. In October 2021, Akasa Air placed its first order at Dubai Airshow for 72 Boeing 737 MAX. In July 2023, this order was extended by four more aircraft.
Combining this 150 B737 MAX order, Akasa now has an orderbook of 226 aircraft. It has a fleet of 22 jets, meaning delivery of 204 aircraft is pending. Over the next 8 years, the airline will receive delivery of these aircraft.
On Path to Top 30
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Akasa Air, Vinay Dube enthusiastically announced the order. He said that with this historic order, the airline will be on its path to becoming one of the top 30 airlines globally. These aircraft will help the airline strengthen its presence in the domestic as well as international markets. With each addition, Akasa Air will add to its domestic network connecting people, places, and cultures.
Vinay Dube expressed confidence that his airline will serve millions of passengers globally, as it enters the next phase of growth. Thanking the airline workforce, he said that he is proud of what he and his team have achieved in terms of reliability and services. The airline is currently at a stage where it becomes natural to celebrate the financial stability, growth potential, and market share increment.
Sustainability is important to Akasa’s operations, and the company is constantly looking for new ways to lessen its environmental impact. This order shows the airline’s commitment to sustainability. The Boeing 737 MAX provides more fuel efficiency when compared to its counterparts. The MAX family reduces carbon emissions by almost 20 percent. It is a quieter aircraft with a noise cancellation rate of 50 percent.
Vinay Dube, Akasa Air’s founder and CEO, seems to be happy with the new planes’ efficiency and economics. The capabilities of the 737 MAX family closely match the airline’s objectives. Furthermore, the lower carbon emissions of these aircraft add to Akasa’s commitment to sustainable operations, providing environmentally aware customers with a more comfortable and eco-friendly flight experience.
Boeing’s Return to Indian Market
The last decade in Domestic Indian Aviation witnessed the dominance of European planemaker Airbus. In 2018, SpiceJet ordered 200 Boeing 737 MAX. Soon after this, Jet Airways went bankrupt. During the pandemic, due to low financials, SpiceJet stopped taking deliveries of Boeing 737 MAX jets. The fate of only two Indian customers of the Boeing 737 MAX family seemed uncertain.
Now, Boeing seems to be back. Last year, Air India Express placed an order for 190 Boeing 737 MAX jets. Along with previous orders, Akasa Air’s order book now stands at 226 aircraft. This signifies that Boeing is again gaining much-needed traction in the Indian market.
In a key milestone, Boeing and Akasa Air’s partnership has achieved new heights with a large order for the 737 MAX family. Stephanie Pope, Boeing’s Chief Operating Officer, underscored the partnership’s strength, citing the 737 MAX family’s ability to connect with Akasa Air’s operating requirements.
Pope emphasized that the 737-10 and 737-8-200 aircraft’ efficiency and versatility will be essential for Akasa Air’s growth. This comes at a time when the region’s air travel demand is on the rise, and these aircraft are well-positioned to service that demand for many years to come.
As per the estimates of Boeing, India will need more than 2,700 aircraft in the next 20 years. India will lead the South Asian region to become the leading market in the global aviation industry.
Akasa Air is known for its USPs like USB Charging slots on every seat and Cafe Akasa. The airline is one of two Indian carriers to allow pets onboard. It is the fastest airline to reach a fleet of 20 aircraft. In August 2022, it launched operations. In August 2023, it received its 20th Boeing 737 MAX.