Akasa orders 72 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft; Launch planned in 2022

Akasa, the startup airline that is founded by ex-Delta and ex-Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube and funded by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, has today concluded its firm order for aircraft with Boeing.

Akasa orders Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Boeing and Akasa Air today announced the new Indian carrier has ordered 72 737 MAX aircraft to build its fleet. The order is valued at nearly USD 9 billion at list prices, however, aircraft are usually sold at a discount to that per the industry convention.

Akasa Air’s order includes two variants from the 737 MAX family, the 737-8 (which usually can seat up to 178 passengers) and the high-capacity 737-8-200, which can seat up to 200 passengers. With the choice of the 737-8-200, Akasa moves head-on into the ULCC space with a product that is designed for the Ultra Low-Cost Carriers. The 737-8-200 was certified in 2021 and is launched by RyanAir, the European carrier which has 200 of these on order.

Prakash Iyer, Aditya Ghosh and Vinay Dube from Akasa Air with Stan Deal, James McBride, John Bruns and Ihssane Mounir of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (Picture: Boeing)

At the 2021 Dubai Airshow, Akasa Air CEO Vinay Dube said:

We are delighted to partner with Boeing for our first airplane order and thank them for their trust and confidence in Akasa Air’s business plan and leadership team. We believe that the new 737 MAX airplane will support our aim of running not just a cost-efficient, reliable and affordable airline, but also an environmentally friendly company with the youngest and greenest fleet in the Indian skies.

Dube added,

India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world with an unparalleled potential. We are already witnessing a strong recovery in air travel, and we see decades of growth ahead of us. Akasa Air’s core purpose is to help power India’s growth engine and democratize air travel by creating an inclusive environment for all Indians regardless of their socio-economic or cultural backgrounds.

While not many details are available at the moment of the deal, LiveFromALounge was made to understand by Boeing that Akasa and Boeing have been in discussions for a long time, and they would have been provided slots in the delivery schedule according to their requirements to launch in mid-2022.

On the occasion, Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said,

We are honoured that Akasa Air, an innovative airline focused on customer experience and environmental sustainability, has placed its trust in the 737 family to drive affordable passenger service in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation regions. The 737 MAX, with its optimized performance, flexibility and capability, is the perfect airplane to establish Akasa Air in the Indian market and ensure it effectively grows its network.

This is a big win for Boeing in India, which has a 100% market share of widebodies in India right now but has only three customers in India for its narrowbody range, SpiceJet, Vistara and Air India Express. While SpiceJet has the 737 MAX on order, the airline has yet not reactivated the 13 MAX aircraft already in its fleet so far. The rest of the airlines, including IndiGo, GoFirst, AirAsia India and so on use the Airbus 320 family for their operations.

Bottomline

With Akasa Air’s firm order for 72 737 MAX-8 aircraft here in Dubai to Boeing, the airline is taking progressive steps to launch operations in India on an aggressive timeline. The airline intends to launch in 2022 Summer.

What do you think of the new order from Akasa Air to Boeing?


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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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