In March 2021, we first heard of a new airline planning operations in India, which was going to be brought up by ex-Jet Airways and GoAir CEO Vinay Dube. Now, we hear things are getting serious.
Vinay Dube plans to launch Akasa, a no-frills carrier
According to a news report by The Economic Times, Vinay Dube and some members of the erstwhile Jet Airways are putting together plans and financing to launch a new airline in India, tentatively named Akasa, Hindi for sky. Vinay Dube, before arriving at Jet Airways, spent a lot of time at Delta and was their Vice President for Asia Pacific before he left the airline. After Jet Airways shut down, he moved on to GoAir/Go First for a short stint before heading out of there as well.
The new airline is going to work on the Ultra Low Cost Carrier model, supposedly, and is looking to raise USD 100 million at the moment, including from marquee Indian investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. At the moment, not much is known, but it seems the airline has ex-Jet Airways honchos Praveen Iyer (former Jet Airways, VFS Global and GoAir) and Nikhil Ved also joining Dube on this entrepreneurial journey. The airline is in discussions both with Boeing and Airbus for a narrow body aircraft order.
The airline has moved to the Ministry of Civil Aviation already for its initial No Objection Certificate. Once received, this will set off the process which will eventually culminate in receiving an Air Operator Certificate, making them eligible to fly.
While the word on the street was about a 2021 launch, it now seems that the launch of the airline will not work out before 2022 at the earliest.
We will know in a few months about the progress of akasa and the arrival of one more airline on the Indian aviation map. This one is lead by a full-service team, however, they will need to unlearn and relearn a lot of what they did to be successful in the ULCC market, especially if they are truly committing to the ULCC cause and not just using it as a buzzword.
What do you think of another airline in the Indian Skies?
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