Aviation News

Akasa Air CEO: We are back in growth mode

Low-cost carrier Akasa Air has had to face a lot in the last two months. From pilot exodus to flight cancellations, the airline had a bad phase of turbulence. However, the CEO has shared that the airline is back in growth mode. Let’s go over all the details.

The issues

In August 2023, 43 Akasa pilots left the airline without serving the mandatory 6-month notice period. This resulted in the airline cancelling multiple flights and delaying other flights, leaving passengers stranded.

This was followed by Akasa suing those pilots and taking them to court and asking monetary compensation for leaving without serving the necessary notice period. The effects of all of this can still be felt at the carrier, with reports saying that it has suspended some flights from Bengaluru.

CEO’s comments

Recently, Vinay Dube, CEO of Akasa Air, gave an interview to CNBCTV18. In that, he said that the airline has been able to look past the issue and that the airline is back in growth mode. He also expects to close this financial year with a 30% overall growth compared to the start of this financial year.

We were not happy about flight cancellations and disruptions faced by customers. We’re back in growth mode now We’ll end this financial year with an increase of 30% in network.

Vinay said.

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He added that the airline has confirmation from around 130 pilots who all will join the airline in the next three or four months. Currently, Akasa has over 450 pilots, a figure Dube expects to increase to 600 in the next few months.

Until July 2023, Akasa Air took delivery of 20 aircraft at a very fast pace. It has had the fastest induction of aircraft of any airline in the world. Since then, it has not taken delivery of any more aircraft. Dube says that by December 2023, two more aircraft will join the airline’s fleet.

Akasa is also looking to start international operations by the end of this year. The airline has been allocated flying rights for flights to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which according to Dube are “money spinning” routes. The carrier is yet to take permissions from foreign governments and is also yet to apply for approvals from third-party. This will only happen after the Indian government endorses the airline’s certificate for these routes.

In an internal letter to its employees, the CEO assured that although the airline has not been allotted any flying rights to destinations such as Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok etc., it will start flying to these places also soon rather than later.

Dube also said that SouthEast Asia, Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Africa are within the Boeing B737MAX’s range and that Akasa is looking in these regions for now.

Akasa Air currently has 76 Boeing B737MAX aircraft on order, with deliveries of these aircraft scheduled until 2027. Dube says that at Akasa, they always look at a 10-year plan and as per that, the airline needs to secure aircraft delivery slot until 2032. Dube added that the airline will announce a 3-digit aircraft order by the end of the year (happening mostly in December 2023).

Featured image by Akasa Air

What do you think of Akasa Air’s whole pilot episode and the airline once again in growth mode? Let me know in the comments section below.

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