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India’s Akasa Air orders 72 Boeing B737MAX aircraft

Akasa Air, India’s latest Ultra low-cost carrier and startup airline, has today placed an order for 72 Boeing B737MAX aircraft at the ongoing Dubai Airshow 2021.

Boeing B737MAX order

Akasa Air has today placed an order for 72 Boeing B737MAX aircraft. The airline’s order comprises of 2 variants from the B737MAX family, the B737MAX-8 and the high-capacity B737MAX-8-200. Valued at nearly $9 billion at list prices, Boeing says that the order “is a key endorsement of the 737 family’s capability to serve the rapidly growing Indian market”.

Vinay Dube, CEO, Akasa Air, said:

We are delighted to partner with Boeing for our first airplane order and thank them for their trust and confidence in Akasa Air’s business plan and leadership team. We believe that the new 737 MAX airplane will support our aim of running not just a cost-efficient, reliable and affordable airline, but also an environmentally friendly company with the youngest and greenest fleet in the Indian skies. India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world with an unparalleled potential. We are already witnessing a strong recovery in air travel, and we see decades of growth ahead of us. Akasa Air’s core purpose is to help power India’s growth engine and democratize air travel by creating an inclusive environment for all Indians regardless of their socio-economic or cultural backgrounds.

Stan Deal, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said:

We are honored that Akasa Air, an innovative airline focused on customer experience and environmental sustainability, has placed its trust in the 737 family to drive affordable passenger service in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation regions. The 737 MAX, with its optimized performance, flexibility and capability, is the perfect airplane to establish Akasa Air in the Indian market and ensure it effectively grows its network.

Boeing will start delivering B737MAX to Akasa Air next year.

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Important for Boeing

Akasa Air’s order is in-a-way return of Boeing’s presence in India. The collapse of Jet Airways in 2019 meant the American manufacturer saw tens of B737s and billions of dollars in orders wiped out overnight. In addition to this, the grounding of the B737MAX had already meant SpiceJet and
Jet Airways were not taking new deliveries,
further reducing Boeing’s market share.

Meanwhile, Airbus has been on a roll in India.
The European giant supplies aircraft to Vistara, Indigo, GoFirst, Air India and Air Asia India. Indigo, India’s largest airline, operates Airbus A320 family aircraft and ATR72-600s. For its domestic operations, Vistara also uses A320 family aircraft. GoFirst also operates an all-A320 fleet.

So in a Airbus dominated market, Akasa’s order of B737MAX aircraft is a welcome move by Boeing who is looking to increase its market share in the Indian Aviation Industry.

Akasa Air

Akasa Air is a new Indian Startup airline backed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, who will take a 40% stake in the airline for $35 million, giving the startup airline a valuation of $87.5 million.

The airline is having ambitious plans to grow quickly and compete with rival carriers such as Indigo, SpiceJet and GoFirst. The airline will be run by industry veterans – Aditya Ghosh (former CEO of IndiGo) and Vinay Dube (former CEO of Jet Airways and GoFirst).

Featured image by Boeing

What do you think of Akasa Air’s ordering 72 B737MAX aircraft? Let me know in the comments section below.

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