DALLAS – India’s newest low-cost airline, Akasa Air (QP), has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft at a ceremony in Seattle, Washington.
Akasa has a total of 72 Boeing 737s on order, consisting of a mixture of the 189-seat -8s and the higher capacity 197-seat -8-200s, and aims to have 18 aircraft in service by March 2023.
A ‘Symbolic Milestone’
Speaking at the ceremony, Akasa founder and Chief Executive Officer Vinay Dube said, “This is indeed a symbolic milestone in the journey of Akasa Air, bringing us one step closer to the process of obtaining our Air Operator’s Permit and leading to our commercial launch.”
He continued, “While we are extremely happy with this achievement, we want to keep ourselves focussed on the task of delivering on our vision to transform India’s air transportation ecosystem, support the nation’s economic growth engine and help fellow Indians chase their dreams.”
The airline is a brand of SNV Aviation Private Limited, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It was established by Mr. Dube and aviation executives Praveen Iyer and Nikhil Ved. Financial backing came from Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.
A Step Closer to Starting Operations
Once the aircraft arrives in Delhi early next week, it will commence route proving flights. This will be the final step in QP receiving its Air Operator’s Permit (AOP) before starting operations in July. Dube has previously stated that it will focus on operating flights from major Indian cities to what it has referred to as ‘tier-two’ and ‘tier-three’ cities.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal said, “We are honoured to deliver the first 737 MAX to Akasa Air. Flying an advanced, environmentally progressive 737 MAX fleet with greater fuel efficiency and lower operating costs will enable Akasa Air to profitably serve the Indian market while passing those savings on to its passengers.”
Featured Image: The official ceremony was attended by Akasa and Boeing officials. Photo: Akasa Air.