Indian business magnate and ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-promoted Akasa Air has received no-objection certificate from Civil Aviation Ministry and DGCA, reported CNBC-TV18 on August 4.
Akasa Air is aiming to begin operations by end of 2021.
According to the report , Akasa Air is most likely to opt for Boeing fleet of narrow-body aircraft and is expected to receive air operator permit post aircraft acquisition.
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Earlier on July 28, reports emerged that Jhunjhunwala was planning on having 70 planes in four years for a new airline venture that he has decided to back. Jhunjhunwala is expected to own nearly 40 percent of the stake in the new airline and is considering to invest $35 million in the venture.
Former President of domestic carrier Indigo, Aditya Ghosh will be co-founder of Akasa, along with Jhunjhunwala and former Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube.
With the new ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) launch, Aditya Ghosh's “return to the aviation industry” has been confirmed, following his exit as President and whole time director of Indigo in 2018. Currently, Ghosh is a board member at Fab India and Oyo Rooms.
Apart from Jhunjhunwala, other investors include Airbnb and Par Capital Management – which has interests in US ULCC Sun Country Airlines.
Other key posts at Akasa will see former Jet Airways senior VP Praveen Iyer take up COO role, while former GoAir revenue management VP Anand Srinivasan will be CTO, and former Jet flight operations VP Floyd Gracious is likely to have a similar role. Industry veteran Neelu Khatri is being billed as head of corporate affairs.
As COVID-19 situations have hit the aviation sector, the Bengaluru-based low-cost carrier may initially plan route network close to Bengaluru. Uncertain demand environment due to COVID-19 may be a risk factor for the new airline, but Jhunjhunwala seemed quite confident.
Jhunjhunwala-promoted airline firm plans for a fleet of 70 aircraft. The new entrant in India’s aviation scene notably comes amid deep impact on the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic.