Akasa Airlines

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air shares picture of its first aircraft: ‘Coming soon’
The Mumbai-based carrier Akasa Air received a non-objection certificate from the Civil Aviation Ministry in October last year.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air Postpones Launch Of Flight Operations  To July | Mint
Image: Mint

Startup Akasa Air released a teaser on May 22 on its social media account. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” said the post. This was followed by two images this morning of its first aircraft, registered VT-YAA.

The airline had initially planned to start operations in the April-June quarter but has pushed its start date to the next quarter as it waits for its aircraft to be ready.

The Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed airline is now a step closer to reality, having signed a deal with Boeing at the Dubai air show for 72 737-8 (formerly known as MAX) and 737-8-200 aircraft (high-density version).

This order, placed in November, was followed by a brand unveil in December 2021. The airline received its no-objection certificate (NOC) in October 2021.

The last two major airlines to start operations were Vistara and AirAsia India, both joint ventures of the Tata group. Both took eight months to reach from NOC to Air Operating Permit (AOP).

Launch Details

“The airline recently reaffirmed its commitment of being on track to receive its first aircraft in India by mid-June and launch commercial operations in India by July 2022,” its statement said.

Akasa Air plans to fly 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023 across domestic routes in the country, focusing on the metro to tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

The airline, which is backed by ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and aviation veterans Vinay Dube and Aditya Ghosh, received the no-objection certificate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in August 2021 to launch commercial flight operations.

With the Directorate General of Civil Aviation giving the green light to Boeing 737 Max aircraft in late August last year, Akasa Air signed a deal with Boeing on November 26, 2021, to purchase 72 Max planes. Akasa Air on Monday said the Max aircraft will be powered by the highly fuel-efficient CFM LEAP B engine.

“Providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience, the 737 Max is one of the strategic factors that will give Akasa Air a competitive edge in its dynamic home market,” it mentioned.

Flying in the Aviation Industry

The DGCA anticipates five proving flights before issuing the AOP. Proving flights are the final stage in the lengthy process of obtaining an AOP.

According to the DGCA’s Civil Aviation Policy CAP 3100, the airline “will be required to conduct at least five flight sectors on intended routes, with a total duration of not less than ten flight hours.” CAP 3100, on the other hand, is a guideline, and DGCA CAR Section 3, Series C – Part II allows the DGCA to approve the license without a proving flight.

AirAsia India, which began operations in June 2014, flew its first test flights in the first week of May 2014. On the first day, the airline flew from Chennai to Kochi, Kochi to Bengaluru, and Bengaluru to Chennai, followed by Chennai-Kolkata-Chennai the next day.

Vistara, on the other hand, completed the five proving flights by flying from Delhi to Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Delhi the next day. These flights took place on December 4th and 5th, 2014.

The proving flights include regulator representatives and airline personnel. Airline employees sit in the seats as if they were regular passengers.

The service standards are tested, and situations can be simulated to see if the response is consistent with the manuals submitted to the regulator by the airline.

If no flaws are discovered, the way is clear for the AOP to be issued; otherwise, the airline may have to go through another round of proving flights. In the previous two cases, the time between proving flights and receiving approval was only a week.

In the previous two cases, the time between proving flights and receiving AOP approval was only a week. Jet Airways recently completed proving flights to re-establish its license, which was granted just days after the second set of proving flights.