NEW DELHI: Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air will take to the skies from August 7, 2022. The low cost will start operations with 28 weekly flights between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
A week later, from August 13, it will start an additional 28 weekly flights between Bengaluru and Kochi. All flights are open for sale with immediate effect. Akasa website shows one-way Mumbai-Ahmedabad fares starting from Rs 3,948 for “saver” and at Rs 4,341 for flexi.
This launch marks the re-entry of Indian aviation industry veterans like Vinay Dube (who has headed Jet Airways and then GoAir) and Aditya Ghosh (former president of IndiGo) into the airline business. Akasa is a brainchild of Vinay Dube.
The airline had planned to start operations in July-end by when it expected to get two Boeing 737 MAX. But a slight delay in getting the second aircraft meant the delay was deferred by about a week. The airline has ordered 72 B737 MAX and it hopes to have 20 aircraft in its fleet — if Boeing is able to deliver as per promised schedule — by next summer after which it can start international flights.
Akasa Air founder and CEO Vinay Dube said: “We are extremely excited to finally be able to offer up our flights for sale. We are also excited to reveal our product which promises to be unlike anything experienced in the category thus far. With Akasa employees providing warm and efficient customer service, a reliable and dependable network, and affordable fares – we look forward to serving our customers with a flying experience that I am sure they will find delightful.”
Airline co-founder and chief commercial officer Praveen Iyer said the “network strategy is focused on establishing a strong pan-India presence and providing linkages from metro to tier 2 and tier 3 cities across the country. We kick-start operations with flights between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. We will adopt a phased approach to support our network expansion plans, progressively connecting more cities, as we add two aircraft to our fleet each month, in our first year”. Bookings for flights on Akasa Air will be available via the Mobile App, Mobile Web & Desktop website www.akasaair.com, through travel agents and several OTAs across the country.
Akasa B737 MAX will have USB ports along with “Boeing Sky Interior” — highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls, window reveals and mood lighting.
Akasa Air’s buy-on-board meal service will be available at Café Akasa with menu options like pasta, Vietnamese rice rolls, hot chocolate and a year-round festival menu “inspired by Indian cuisines and celebrations”.