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Akasa Air adds Chennai to its network; to launch flights between Ahmedabad and Bengaluru

Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, has announced the addition of Chennai to its network. The airline will launch flights between Ahmedabad and Bengaluru and will also increase frequency of flights between Mumbai and Bengaluru. This is the third network-related announcement since the airline opened bookings for its first flights (including them), even before its inaugural flight!

Chennai

Starting 15th September 2022, Akasa Air will operate a daily flight between Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport and Chennai International Airport with the following schedule:

  • Mumbai-Chennai
  • Departure time: 18:10
  • Arrival time: 19:55
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Flight number: QP1304
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Chennai-Mumbai
  • Departure time: 20:50
  • Arrival time: 22:45
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 55 minutes
  • Flight number: QP1305
  • Frequency: Daily

Chennai will be Akasa’s fifth destination after Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Kochi.

Chennai is first city in Akasa’s network which will have only a single daily flight. All of the other 4 cities have multiple daily flights operated by Akasa. With just a single daily flight, Akasa Air will have a tough time to gain market share in Mumbai-Chennai market. The carrier will compete with Indigo, Vistara, Air India, SpiceJet and GoFirst. Indigo and Vistara are the two biggest airlines in this market. Indigo operates up to 9 daily flights while Vistara operates up to 4 daily flights between the two cities.

Ahmedabad-Bengaluru

Starting 23rd August 2022, the low-cost carrier will operate a daily flight between Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport and Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport with the following schedule:

  • Bengaluru-Ahmedabad
  • Departure time: 14:55
  • Arrival time: 17:15
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
  • Flight number: QP1314
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Ahmedabad-Bengaluru
  • Departure time: 17:50
  • Arrival time: 19:50
  • Flight time: 2 hours
  • Flight number: QP1315
  • Frequency: Daily

Akasa will compete with Indigo and GoFirst on this route. Akasa will be the smallest player in this market with just a single daily flight. Indigo operates up to 5 daily flights on this route while GoFirst operates twice daily flights.

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Additional flights on Bengaluru-Mumbai route

As per the current schedule, Akasa Air will operate twice-daily flights between Mumbai and Bengaluru. The airline has announced that it will add two more daily flights on this route.

The timings of the new flight which begins on 30th August 2022 are:

  • Bengaluru-Mumbai
  • Departure time: 06:55
  • Arrival time: 08:35
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Flight number: QP1314
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Mumbai-Bengaluru
  • Departure time: 17:50
  • Arrival time: 19:50
  • Flight time: 2 hours
  • Flight number: QP1315
  • Frequency: Daily

The timings of the new flight which begins on 19th September 2022 are:

  • Bengaluru-Mumbai
  • Departure time: 20:30
  • Arrival time: 22:10
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Flight number: QP1301
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Mumbai-Bengaluru
  • Departure time: 23:25
  • Arrival time: 01:00 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Flight number: QP1103
  • Frequency: Daily

With the addition of these new frequencies between Bengaluru and Mumbai, this will be the airline’s busiest route with 4 daily flights.

Praveen Iyer, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Akasa Air, said:

With the first flight scheduled to take off on August 7, we have seen tremendous response for booking from travellers and our first flight got sold out within a day of going live. With an aircraft arriving every fortnight, we are delighted to augment our network to meet our commitment of progressively adding more cities along new sectors to establish a strong pan-India presence, with a focus on metro to tier 2 & 3 route connectivity.

All of these new flights will be operated by Boeing B737MAX-8 featuring 189 standard Economy Class seats.

Expanding presence in metro cities

Executives at Akasa Air have been saying from the starting that the airline will focus on metro to tier-2 and tier-3 connectivity. This can be possible by having a significant presence in metro cities. It seems that the airline is doing just that.

The airline will have flights from Bengaluru to Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Kochi; from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Chennai; and from Kochi to Bengaluru.

Once the airline builds up a significant presence at metros, it can then look to launch flights to tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

Meanwhile, Akasa Air recently announced that it will launch flights between Bengaluru and Mumbai.

Featured image by Akasa Air

What do you think of Akasa Air’s network strategy? Let me know in the comments section below.

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