India’s newest no-frills carrier, Akasa Air, which signed up for 72 Boeing 737 MAX at the Dubai Airshow last year and intends to launch operations shortly, today cleared a very important milestone towards the launch of their operations. The Indian aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, today handed them their Air Operators Permit.

The grant of the AOC is the final step of a comprehensive and rigorous process laid down by the DGCA and marks the satisfactory completion of all regulatory and compliance requirements for the airline’s operational readiness. Following the Indian government’s initiative to usher in a new era of digitization, Akasa Air is the first airline whose end-to-end AOC process was conducted using the government’s eGCA digital platform. The process concluded with the airline having successfully conducted a number of proving flights under the supervision of the country’s aviation regulator. The flights were conducted on July 4&5, 2022 with the DGCA officials and the airline officials on board. 

Commenting on the significant milestone, Vinay Dube, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, of Akasa Air said “We are extremely thankful to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the DGCA for their constructive guidance, active support and the highest levels of efficiency throughout the AOC process. We now look forward to opening our flights for sale, leading to the start of commercial operations by late July. This will begin our journey towards building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline”.

Akasa Air, whose airline code is QP, received its first 737 MAX on June 21, 2022. The second aircraft will be delivered to them in July 2022. Akasa intends to commence commercial operations with these two aircraft, subsequently adding more aircraft to its fleet every month, as per the plans shared by Akasa’s CEO when he talked to AirInsight in June 2022.  By the end of the fiscal year 2022-23, the airline will have 18 aircraft and thereafter 12-14 aircraft every 12 months, which will make up its order of 72 delivered over five years.

Earlier this week, Akasa Air also unveiled its crew look, which brings sustainability and comfort to the crew as part of the look. Akasa became the first Indian airline to introduce custom trousers, jackets, and comfortable sneakers for its in-flight crew. The trouser and jacket fabric has been specially made for Akasa Air, using recycled polyester fabric which is made from pet bottle plastic salvaged from marine waste.  The airline has also elected to use sneakers for their cabin crew over conventional leather shoes, putting them in a small set of airlines such as Joon and Play which went with comfort over the formal nature of the look. The sneakers will also have soles that will be carved from recycled rubber and will be manufactured without any use of plastic, in line with Akasa’s sustainability focus. 

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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.

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