At the Dubai Airshow 2021, Indian startup carrier Akasa Air, founded by aviation veteran Vinay Dube and backed by Indian investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, placed its first aircraft order for 72 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 8-200 Aircraft. The airline intends to launch operations by July and has now received its first aircraft in Seattle from Boeing, bearing tail number VT-YAA. The aircraft, MSN 62871, was originally designated for Taiwan’s T Way Air.
Akasa Air has a total order of 72 aircraft, including an initial delivery of 18 aircraft by March 2023, followed by delivery of the remaining 54 aircraft over the next four years. The airline last week signed up with Griffin Global Asset Management, a US-based aircraft leasing firm for the sale and leaseback of the first five aircraft. Sale and Leaseback is a popular method of financing aircraft acquisition and is well known in India.
The first aircraft was delivered to Akasa Air by Boeing on June 15 in the presence of Ed Clark (Vice President 737 program Boeing), Priya Mehra (General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Akasa Air), Suresh Kumar (General Manager – EIS & AOC Process, Akasa Air), Ihssane Mounir (Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Boeing), Capt. Kunal Khajuria (Senior Captain, Akasa Air), Aditya Ghosh (Co-Founder, Akasa Air), Daniel Saldana (VP – Maintenance & Engineering, Akasa Air), Marc Baer (President, Griffin Asset Management), Mike Lombardi (Vice President, Marketing, Griffin Asset Management) and Salil Gupte (President, Boeing India).
Commenting on the successful delivery, Vinay Dube – Founder, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Akasa Air, 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 (AOP) and leading to our commercial launch. 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.”
On the occasion, Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said:
“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.”
The aircraft will start its journey from Seattle and is expected to land in Delhi on June 21 after a multi-leg journey. This aircraft will be used for performing the proving flights, which will be required to get the Air Operators Permit of the airline.
Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe.