Akasa Air said on Thursday, July 7 said it has received the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from aviation regulator DGCA and will start commercial operations later this month.
The grant of the AOC marks the satisfactory completion of all regulatory and compliance requirements for the airline’s operational readiness, Akasa Air said in a statement.
The process concluded with the airline having successfully conducted several proving flights under the supervision of the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), it added.
Following the government’s initiative to usher in a new era of digitisation, Akasa Air is the first airline whose end-to-end AOC process was conducted using the government’s progressive eGCA digital platform.
“We are thankful to the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA for their constructive guidance, active support and the highest levels of efficiency throughout the AOC process. We now look forward to opening our flights for sale, leading to the start of commercial operations by late July. This will begin our journey towards building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline.”Vinay Dube, Founder-Chief Executive Officer, Akasa Air
According to the airline, it will commence commercial operations later this month with two aircraft and subsequently add planes to its fleet every month.
The airline received a no-objection certificate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in August 2021 for starting flights.
By the end of the fiscal year 2022-23, the airline will have 18 aircraft and thereafter, will add 12-14 aircraft every 12 months. This will make up its order of 72 aircraft to be delivered over five years.
Last November, Akasa Air announced ordering 72 ‘737 Max’ aircraft from Boeing. The order includes two variants from the 737 MAX family — 737-8 and 737-8-200.
The airline unveiled the first look of its crew uniform on Monday, July 4 adding that it focuses on providing the best possible stretch to ensure their comfort over their busy flight schedules.
The company said it is the first Indian airline to have introduced custom trousers and jackets, with their fabric specially made for Akasa Air (using recycled polyester fabric which is made from pet bottle plastic salvaged from marine waste) and comfortable sneakers for its airline in-flight crew keeping in mind ergonomics, aesthetics and comfort.
Among big/upcoming airlines, Akasa will be the fifth Indian budget carrier after IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoFirst, AirAsia India and Air India Express. And overall it will be the eighth (big) airline apart from full-service Air India and Vistara and regional carrier Alliance Air which is the only government-owned fixed-wing airline now.
Akasa is set to enter a market marked by cut-throat competition and a high-cost structure. Among others, it will grapple with IndiGo which controls close to 60% of India’s domestic air traffic, the Tata group, the new owners of Air India which are planning to fast expand it with hundreds of new airplanes and a resurrected Jet Airways raring to find it lost glory.
Cover Image – Ankush Gupta (Twitter)