Akasa Air set to fly international

Akasa, the airline which started operations in August 2022 and inducted 20 Boeing 737-8 aircraft rapidly within a year of beginning operations, has now received the necessary permissions from India’s aviation ministry to fly internationally.

Akasa gets approval to fly internationally.

Akasa applied for approval to be designated as a scheduled international carrier on August 4, 2023, a few days before it turned one. Under current guidelines, any airline based in India needs to have at least 20 aircraft in its fleet to be able to apply for international operations. Akasa had completed the induction of 18 aircraft at a very fast clip by the end of March 2023 itself, roughly adding an aircraft every fortnight in the first year of operations. Subsequently, they got their first Boeing 737-8-200, a jet with a higher density seating (197 seats), delivered to them at the Boeing Delivery Centre in Washington at the end of July 2023.

a group of people holding a large banner in front of an airplane

The application for a scheduled international carrier designation was moved by Akasa as soon as the jet landed in India. The Ministry of Civil Aviation granted them the designation this month.

a letter of a pilot

On the occasion, Akasa Air stated on behalf of the Founder and CEO, Vinay Dube,

 The Ministry of Civil Aviation has recognised the strength of Akasa Air’s operations and we have been designated as an International Scheduled Operator. This new designation will allow us to fly internationally, enabling us to take one step closer to our dream of launching international operations before the end of this year. We are now working with all relevant authorities on our request for traffic rights and will soon be able to announce the international destination we will fly to. We are targeting destinations within the range of a 737 MAX from India in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. 

Akasa intends to start operations internationally within 2023.

Akasa intends to launch operations internationally within 2023, as the airline’s management has repeatedly claimed over and over again at various industry fora and privately. While the state of bilateral rights between India and the Middle-East countries, which are popular ports of call for Indian carriers, are generally full, the Indian aviation regulator, DGCA, might take a call to vacate the rights of Go First and reallocate these to other airlines to be able to ensure that rights are not lying idle while people are paying higher fares due to the grounding of Go First.

Now that Akasa has received its international designation, the airline will still need to liaise with India’s DGCA, the other countries’ regulators, airports and ground handling agencies before launching.


Akasa has now been designated as a scheduled international carrier, allowing the airline to participate in the pool of bilateral rights and launch international flights. The airline intends to launch operations within 2023 and fly to destinations within South Asia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

What do you make of Akasa’s plans to fly internationally?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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