Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Akasa Air expected to fly from next year

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air has said it hopes to fly next year

Akasa Air, backed by billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, on Monday said it expects to start flying next year after receiving preliminary approval from the civil aviation ministry to launch the country’s latest ultra-low cost carrier.

The approval comes at a time when the country’s aviation industry is grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with airlines losing billions of dollars, but the sector’s long-term potential makes the country a hot market for aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus. manufactures.

SNV Aviation, which will fly under the Akasa Air brand, said in a statement that it has received a “no-objection certificate” from the ministry and is expected to start pan-India flights in the summer of 2022.

Vinay Dubey, CEO of Akasa Air, said in the statement that the airline will continue to work with regulatory authorities on all additional compliances required for a successful launch.

The company did not elaborate but under the requirements to start an airline, it would also need approval from aviation watchdog, Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Mr. Jhunjhunwala, known as the “Warren Buffett of India” for his successful stock investments, has teamed up with Aditya Ghosh and Mr. Dubey, former CEOs of the country’s largest carrier – IndiGo, to address the demand for domestic air travel. Carrier launched for.

Mr. Dubey is the former CEO of Jet Airways – once India’s largest private carrier – before flying out in April 2019, after running out of cash, owing billions to lenders and leaving thousands without jobs.

Jet was recently rescued from bankruptcy. Mr. Ghosh, who spent a decade with IndiGo, is credited with the early success of IndiGo.

Although details of the new venture, including any decision on aircraft orders, have not been formally disclosed, Akasa is already in one of the biggest deals of the year to buy or lease Boeing 737 aircraft outside the United States. Moving towards one, Reuters reported in July.

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