The new dawn of elite-economic flying experience is here as Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Akasa Air ordered seventy-two Boeing 737 Max planes for a whopping $9 Billion cost. The Akasa brand will operate under SNV Avation, a brand backed by investment virtuoso Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. Reportedly the low-cost airline brand has ordered as many as seventy-two 737-8s from Boeing ahead of its 2022 launch. The Indian investment mogul has also joined forces with former aviation industry experts. The team comprises of former chief executives of IndiGo and Jet Airways.
The development comes just a few weeks after Akasa Air received its no-objection certificate from the Indian aviation ministry. In October, Vinay Dubey, CEO of Akasa Air had announced, “We are extremely happy and grateful to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for their support for the grant of the NOC. We will continue to work with the regulatory authorities on all additional compliances required to successfully launch Akasa Air.”
Some call Rakesh Jhunjhunwala the investor with the touch of Midas, some call it the Big Bull of the Indian share market. With a net wort of over $9 billion, he’s the 48th richest Indian currently. Like most high net individuals, Mr. Jhunjhunwala is continuously growing his portfolio of businesses owned.
Although most of his earnings come from his investment company Rare Enterprises, Mr. Jhunjhunwala is on his way to taking a big bite off the aviation market in India. The aviation market which slumped due to COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years is opening up slowly and surely.
With the buyback of Air India by Tata Group, and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Akasa Airlines also scheduled to fly in 2022, the aviation sector is seeing its new dawn in India.
The Facts of the Matter
Upcoming low-cost airline Akasa Air has reportedly placed an order of 71 Boeing 737 Max Jets. According to a Reuters report, Boeing is close to winning a purchase order of 70-100 Boeing 737s. The move will help Boeing regain the lost place in India.
The Tainted History of the Boeing 737 Max
Earlier India allowed airlines to have Max jets fly. Prior to that, the Max jets were grounded due to regulatory reasons. For the uninitiated, the 737 Max jets were grounded since 2019 after 346 people died in 2 major crashes in the span of 5 months.
Apart from the devastating and significant human loss, the two crashes made a huge dent in Boeing’s business. The company had already several hundreds of 737 Max airplanes in its books and the decision to ground those planes created a massive hole in the company’s pockets. Reportedly, Boeing lost as much as $636 million in the two years after the crashes forced the airline to be grounded.
“737 Max Perfect Airplane to Establish Akasa Air”: Boeing CEO
A Times of India report quoted Boeing’s CEO Stan Deal saying, “We are honoured 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 optimised performance, flexibility and capability, is the perfect airplane to establish Akasa Air in the Indian market and ensure it effectively grows its network.”
“Akasa Aims to Democratize Air Travel”: CEO Vinay Dube
Meanwhile, Akasa Air CEO Vinay Dube claimed that the new 737 Max will support the airline’s aim of providing a cost-efficient, reliable, affordable, and environmentally conscious airline. He further added that India is the fastest growing aviation markets in the world and that the company aims to “democratize air travel” by being inclusive to all Indians despite their backgrounds.