Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-Backed Akasa Air to Take Off in 2022

New Delhi: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed new airline ‘Akasa Air’ has been granted a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the operation in India by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, according to a PTI report. The development assumes great significance for the country’s aviation market which had to bear wrath of deadly Covid pandemic. This comes days after Tata Sons emerged as the winner of the financial bid to take control of the national carrier Air India. Flyers across India will only hope that there will be more flight options available for them in relatively affordable airfares.

Here is what we know so far about new airline Akasa Air:

Akasa Air is backed by ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and ex-Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube. The holding company of the new airline is SNV Aviation Private Limited. Akasa Air also has former IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh on its board, the PTI report says.

The new airline is aiming to start operations by the summer of 2022, PTI reported quoting SNV Aviation Private Limited.

The airline is planning to operate approximately 70 planes in the next four years. Airbus is in conversation with Akasa for an aircraft procurement deal, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer told PTI last week.

Akasa has also been in discussions with US plane manufacturer Boeing to procure its B737 Max planes, multiple media reports had said two months back. Airbus’ A320 series of aircraft competes with Boeing’s B737 series of planes in the aviation market, as per a PTI report.

The proposed airline venture had applied for an NOC, AoP (air operator permit) and other permits from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, as per an IANS report.

Acquiring the NOC is the first stage. This will be followed by a security background check after which an AoP is issued. Thereafter the technical viability of the airline receives a safety clearance, the IANS report says.

When asked about his entry into the aviation sector when some companies have gone bust, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala had replied he cannot say much but he is prepared for any outcome. “We will see what happens. If it becomes successful, I will tell you about it and if it fails, I will simply say I didn’t do anything much about it. I am taking a conscious risk…I am hopeful and prepared for failure,” he had added, PTI reported.

“We will continue to work with the regulatory authorities on all additional compliances required to successfully launch Akasa Air. At Akasa Air, we believe that having a robust air transportation system is critical for our nation’s progress,” IANS reported quoting Vinay Dube, CEO, Akasa Air.

12/10/21 India.com

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