Akasa Air modifies aircraft interiors amid facing global supply chain disruptions


Akasa Air is facing the impact of global supply chain disruptions. Though the airline does not expect any delay in deliveries, a shortage of aircraft parts may affect the reconfiguration of its fleet for 6–9 months.

The airline is facing disruptions in the delivery of seats, USB ports, and seat fabric. The three-month-old airline with a fleet of seven aircraft in India operates on nine routes —Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Chennai, Delhi, Agartala and Guwahati.

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“We have been facing some global supply chain issues that are preventing us from reconfiguring the interiors of these aircraft in a timely manner. We have got some delays on three elements of the reconfiguration.

Our first 20 aircraft have engines on them which is why we are confident that there are no delivery issues and remain unaffected through our first 20 deliveries. There is also no indication or official communications from Boeing that it is going to affect delivery from 21st onwards.”

Vinay Dube, CEO & Co-Founder, Akasa Air

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Akasa’s orderbook includes a firm order of 72 Boeing 737 MAX planes, powered by CFM LEAP-1B engines. The first 20 aircraft will be brand new but are configured to accommodate 174 seats, as per the specifications of another airline, while Akaksa has a requirement of 189 seats, Dube said.

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However, the airline will not be able to add seats from December onwards due to the shortage.

Akasa Air modifies aircraft interiors amid facing global supply chain disruptions

While it is trying to maintain the timeline for inducting new planes to its fleet, from the 9th aircraft it will have to accept a different configuration for all new aircraft until the 19th aircraft is delivered. These 11 Boeing 737 MAX planes will have 174 economy seats with the front three rows in a 2-2 configuration with more legroom, the airline said.

Akasa Air will continue to operate a single-aisle, all-economy service at affordable fares with no change in its pricing strategy. According to our current road map with partners, the 2×2 seat configuration will get standardised over the next six to nine months. With this, our original 189-seater will become available as we overcome the supply-chain impact.

“The emergency and front row, which is our A+ PRODUCT is priced at INR 1,500 a seat and this (2-2) will be A++ and will be priced at INR 2,500 a seat. This will be sold as economy and we will charge only for seat selection.”

Praveen Iyer, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Akasa Air

The management, however, did not reveal whether it will be compensated by the original equipment manufacturers for the shortage.

Flyers will also see seat covers on a few aircraft with a different upholstery from its signature style and the absence of USB ports on some seats.

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Unlike its competitors, such as IndiGo and Go First which are also facing disruptions in operations due to the delays in engines and spare parts supply, Akasa said it does not foresee challenges for engines.

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After the initial schedule is complete, Akasa will start accepting airplanes with higher density, which will feature 197 seats.

While the airline has so far not met its guidance of inducting an aircraft every two weeks it maintains that it will have a fleet of over 12 by December and 18 aircraft by March.

After the initial schedule is complete, Akasa will start accepting airplanes with higher density, which will feature 197 seats. According to the airline, it will also start planning international routes next year soon after it reaches the 20-aircraft mark required by the Indian regulator.

These issues got further aggravated with Russia’s war on Ukraine as that led to significant raw material sourcing displacement. While this has affected almost industry getting severely crippled. For aviation, it has meant airlines facing delays in getting aircraft, engines, seats and every imaginable component required in this supply chain.