Akasa Air Pilots Receive Salary Hike Again in 2 Months

Radhika Bansal

22 Aug 2023

Akasa Air has hiked the salaries of pilots for a second time in two months amid growing demand for Boeing 737 captains in the country. The latest revision, which includes a mix of monthly loyalty rewards of INR 1,00,000 and long-term incentive of INR 25,00,000, comes in the backdrop of pilot resignations. The monthly loyalty reward will be over and above the base pay for 40 hours, while the long-term incentive will be paid in three instalments (15,25, and 60%) over two years, from 2024 to 2026.

At least 19 pilots quit Akasa Air in August without serving the notice period, and more are said to have resigned, lured by recruitment offers from Air India Express, reports Hindu BusinessLine. Akasa Air inducted its 20th aircraft and celebrated its first anniversary earlier in the month. Both Akasa Air and Air India Express operate a fleet of the same aircraft type. Air India Express, which operates the NG type recently started recruiting B737 pilots as it is aiming at delivery of 1st MAX by October this year.

Akasa CEO Vinay Dube is not too worried, with the report quoting him as saying, “We have a 10 years plan that covers pilot recruitment, training and career upgrades. There is no long-term impact (due to resignations) and we remain very confident about the future. We are planners and we plan for contingencies. You have to look at our track record. We have the lowest cancellation rate and best on-time performance.”

Akasa Hiking Salaries Again

The pay for Akasa Air's cockpit crew has improved in the past as well. Just a few weeks after beginning operations, in September 2022, the carrier increased the average pay for its pilots by 60%. Last year, Akasa made a statement with that action, which propelled it to the top of the pay scale among Indian airlines, surpassing even well-established rivals like IndiGo. In June this year, the airline increased its pilots’ salaries by up to 40%, with senior first officers getting INR 3,40,000 and senior captains INR 6,25,000 as starting monthly salaries.

Akasa Air’s Market Share

Launched in August last year, Akasa Air's market share stood at 4.9% as it flew 6.18 lakh passengers last month. Some domestic carriers have gained market share recently owing to the grounding of the cash-strapped Go First, which stopped flying on May 3. Akasa Air, which was launched in August 2022, has placed orders for 76 Boeing aircraft. Last month, the carrier ordered four more planes from Boeing.

At a time when competition is intensifying in the Indian aviation space, with IndiGo and Air India placing huge aircraft orders as well as pursuing aggressive growth plans, Vinay Dube, CEO, of Akasa Air said in an interview asserted that at Akasa Air, nothing is done that is short-term in nature. About the airline, Dube said, "I don't think, we get caught up in whether we're going to grow a little faster or slow. That's not what we're chasing, we're chasing sustainability, we are chasing the fact that we want to build an airline that will stand the test of time. I think we are adequately funded. We were adequately funded to order 72 aircraft. We are adequately funded to add 4 more aircraft on top of that were adequately funded to place another three-digit aircraft order between now and the end of this year.”

The company is looking to add up to 800 new workers by the end of this fiscal year as it prepares to start international services. Akasa isn’t alone in stepping up hiring efforts — market leader IndiGo and Air India plan to recruit thousands more staff, and both have blockbuster orders for hundreds of aircraft from Airbus SE and Boeing Co.

After taking the delivery of its 20th aircraft, the airline is now eligible to start international operations. Akasa has announced its intention to increase its fleet to 28 aircraft by March 2024. Further, the airline will have around 48 B737 MAX on Orders at that time. However, the CEO has said they will likely place larger, three-digit orders in 2023. The order is possibly placed during the Dubai Air Show in November 2023. More Updates are likely to follow in the coming days.

(With Inputs from Hindu BusinessLine)

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Air India Express to Witness Growth by Adding 50 Boeing 737 Max by 2024 End

Radhika Bansal

22 Aug 2023

Air India Express (AIX) is set to witness its fastest growth since inception with the completion of its merger with AirAsia India and the planned addition of around 50 Boeing 737 Max aircraft by December 2024. This move will help the airline grow its existing West Asia network and launch new domestic and international routes, including those to Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, reported Hindu BusinessLine.

To concentrate on long-distance international medium-haul travel to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, Air India Express started operating in 2005. Even while it kept a strong bank sheet, it never actually obtained a fleet boost that would have allowed it to aggressively expand its existing profitable routes. According to reports, the airline created a business plan in 2018 that projected it will have 50 aircraft by 2025. The plan, which was also delayed by the disinvestment procedure and COVID-19, did not initially receive the government's approval.

This trajectory is set to shift in the coming month with the commencement of deliveries for the new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Concurrently, an ongoing merger process between AirAsia India and Air India Express (AIX) will result in an expanded fleet and an extended network for the airline. The comprehensive merger into a singular corporate entity under a unified air operator certificate is scheduled for March 2024.

Currently, AIX boasts a fleet of 26 Boeing 737 NG aircraft, while AirAsia India operates 28 Airbus A320 planes. Both airlines maintain distinct branding, but they are set to transition to the AIX brand later in the year.

Future of Air India Express

A source within Air India emphasized that the initial focus lies in fortifying the existing operations. Air India Express and AirAsia India execute approximately 290 flights daily collectively. Anticipating growth, AIX is anticipating the incorporation of 23 additional aircraft by the next March, with a predominant deployment on international routes. Concurrently, the airline is planning to introduce novel domestic flights from key hubs such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and various cities in Kerala. “We are also considering the possibility of international flights originating from Hyderabad,” the source added.

During recent months, executives from both airlines have been meticulously refining the plans for integration. Concurrently, Air India has been collaborating with the airlines on route restructuring and network planning, resulting in several operational adjustments already being implemented. “Air India Express and AirAsia India share a unified website, a joint call center, and an integrated customer support system. Standardized in-flight menus have been introduced, and IX has successfully launched a streamlined check-in and boarding service. The upcoming phase will involve the seamless integration of employees,” revealed an executive.

In response to the anticipated increase in capacity, AIX is actively intensifying its recruitment efforts. “Rapid hiring and comprehensive training for pilots and crew members are underway,” the executive added. A total of approximately 150 pilots have been recruited over the past eighteen months. Additionally, AIX pilots are presently undergoing simulator training to equip them with the skills necessary to operate the Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

New Livery of the Airline

In an exciting move set to reshape the aviation landscape, Air India Express, the budget airline under the esteemed Tata Group, is all set to introduce a brand-new logo and livery. This announcement comes as a significant step forward in the airline's evolution, keeping intact its cherished tail art culture while embracing a contemporary identity. The unveiling of the new design marks the beginning of a new era for the airline, promising a visually striking and memorable experience for both passengers and aviation enthusiasts.

Air India Express, a subsidiary of the Tata Group's aviation ventures, has taken a bold stride by opting for a revamped logo and livery. The introduction of a fresh design signifies the airline's commitment to staying relevant in an ever-changing industry, while also preserving its distinctive tail art culture.

One of the standout features that differentiates Air India Express from its parent company, Air India, is its array of distinct tail designs for each aircraft. This unique characteristic adds a touch of individuality to each jet, setting it apart in the sky. Unlike Air India, which maintains a consistent tail design across its fleet, Air India Express's tail art culture has been a part of its identity and a visual representation of its diversity.

As anticipation builds, the first aircraft adorned with the new logo and livery is set to make its debut within the next two months. This eagerly awaited moment will be a testament to the airline's dedication to progress and innovation. Passengers and aviation enthusiasts alike can look forward to a stunning visual transformation that embodies the spirit of modern aviation while upholding the airline's core values.

To ensure a smooth transition and uninterrupted operations, the rebranding process will be executed in several phases. The meticulous approach to this transformation underscores Air India Express's commitment to maintaining the quality of its services while embracing a novel look. The airline's dedication to excellence extends to every facet of its operations, from passenger experience to safety and punctuality.

(With Inputs from Hindu BusinessLine)

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Qantas Soars Beyond Pre-Pandemic Levels: Unveils Ambitious Expansion Plan for International Routes

Abhishek Nayar

22 Aug 2023

In a remarkable move that's set to reshape the aviation industry, Qantas, the Australian airline, has recently unveiled its ambitious plan for a massive expansion of its international capacity.

On August 21, 2023, the airline made headlines by announcing its intention to add a staggering 250,000 additional seats on several vital international routes connecting Australia to some of the world's most sought-after destinations, including Bali, New York, Johannesburg, and Los Angeles.

Furthermore, Qantas plans to introduce new flights and resume suspended routes, setting the stage for a substantial revival in the post-pandemic era.

Taking Flight to Recovery: Qantas' Grand Plan

Hitting the Heights - Qantas' International Expansion

Qantas' announcement comes as a glimmer of hope in the aviation industry's recovery journey following the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline plans to roll out this significant capacity expansion gradually over the remainder of 2023 and into the next year, marking a crucial step toward surpassing pre-pandemic traffic levels by the summer of 2024.

Qantas' Expansion Destinations

Bali: A Tropical Paradise Beckons

One of the key highlights of Qantas' expansion is the boost in flights to Bali. The Indonesian paradise has long been a favorite destination for travelers worldwide, and with Qantas' increased capacity, more passengers will have the opportunity to experience the beauty of Bali.

The route from Sydney Airport (SYD) to Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Bali will be upgraded from Boeing 737s to A330s with completely flat beds in business class.

New York: The Big Apple Awaits

For those with their sights set on the concrete jungle where dreams are made, Qantas' expansion means more flights to New York. Whether it's for business or leisure, the city that never sleeps is now more accessible than ever.

The recently established Qantas flight from Sydney to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), with a layover in Auckland (AKL), will become daily in August 2024 (up from four times a week currently).

Johannesburg: Exploring South Africa

Qantas' expansion also extends to Johannesburg, opening up new opportunities for travel enthusiasts to explore the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of South Africa.

In July 2024, Qantas will be introducing A380 services to Johannesburg (JNB), South Africa, nearly increasing capacity during peak periods.

Los Angeles: A Gateway to the Americas

Los Angeles, known for its glitz and glamour, is another destination set to benefit from Qantas' increased capacity. With more flights, travelers will find it easier to explore the diverse attractions of this iconic city.

The number of weekly flights from Sydney to Los Angeles (LAX) will increase from seven to nine. Increased A380 services will also allow the airline to increase capacity on the Melbourne (MEL) - Los Angeles route by 20%.

New Flights and Route Resumptions

In addition to boosting existing routes, Qantas is introducing new flights and resuming services on certain routes that were temporarily suspended due to the pandemic. This move reflects the airline's commitment to reconnecting people and fostering global mobility.

The Path to Recovery: What It Means

The expansion of Qantas' international capacity signifies not only a bold move by the airline but also a positive sign for the travel industry and the global economy as a whole. Here's what this announcement means for passengers, the airline, and the broader community:

Passenger Benefits

More Choices: Passengers will benefit from increased options and flexibility when planning their trips, making it easier to find flights that suit their schedules and preferences.

Competitive Pricing: With more seats available, travelers may also see more competitive pricing, making international travel more accessible.

Improved Connectivity: Qantas' expansion will enhance connectivity between Australia and some of the world's most popular destinations, reducing travel times and increasing convenience.

Qantas' Perspective

Market Leadership: This expansion reinforces Qantas' position as a leading player in the global aviation industry, showing resilience and adaptability during challenging times.

Economic Growth: The airline's increased international capacity will contribute to economic growth, creating jobs and stimulating tourism-related industries.

Rebuilding Confidence: Qantas aims to restore confidence in air travel by providing safe and reliable services, encouraging more people to explore the world once again.

Global Impact

Tourism Revival: Qantas' expansion will not only benefit Australia but also have a ripple effect on the global tourism industry, fostering cross-border tourism and cultural exchanges.

Environmental Considerations: As part of its expansion plan, Qantas is committed to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint, aligning with global efforts to address climate change.


In conclusion, Qantas' decision to significantly expand its international capacity is a testament to the resilience and determination of the aviation industry. This bold move comes at a pivotal moment, as the world strives to recover from the challenges of the pandemic. With more seats, new routes, and a commitment to sustainability, Qantas is charting a course towards a brighter future for travelers, the airline, and the global community.

With Inputs from Qantas

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FAA Responds to New York Times Allegations: Are Near-Miss Incidents Really on the Rise in US Skies?

Abhishek Nayar

22 Aug 2023

In recent months, concerns have been raised regarding the safety of air travel in the United States. A New York Times story suggested that near-misses in aviation have been on the rise, prompting questions about the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) ability to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.

In response to these allegations, the FAA has provided data and insights into the situation, shedding light on the current state of runway incursions in the country.

Understanding Runway Incursions

Before delving into the FAA's response, let us first understand what runway incursions are. Runway incursions refer to incidents where unauthorized aircraft, vehicles, or pedestrians enter a runway that is actively being used for takeoffs or landings. These incidents are classified by the FAA into four categories, ranging from D (no immediate safety consequences) to A (a collision narrowly avoided).

The FAA's Official Data

The FAA, being the governing body responsible for aviation safety in the US, maintains a comprehensive record of runway incursions. According to their latest data for the year 2023, there have been a total of 985 runway incursions across all four categories. This translates to a rate of 31 runway incursions per 1 million takeoffs and landings.

According to the FAA, 60% of runway incursions in 2023 have been caused by pilot deviations, 20% by operational incidents, and the remaining 20% by vehicle/pedestrian deviations.

A Comparative Look

To provide context, it's important to compare this data with previous years. In 2022, the rate of runway incursions was slightly higher at 32 incidents per 1 million takeoffs and landings. However, this number is a decline from the 34 incidents reported the year before, in 2021.

For a broader perspective, let us look at the last decade. The peak of runway incursions occurred in 2017 and 2018 when the rate reached 35 incidents per 1 million takeoffs and landings. Since then, there has been a gradual decrease in these incidents, reflecting the FAA's continuous efforts to enhance safety measures.

The FAA's Response

In light of these statistics, the FAA acknowledges the importance of addressing runway incursions promptly and effectively. While the current numbers might raise concerns, it's crucial to note that the FAA categorizes these incidents based on their severity. The majority of reported incursions fall into category D, indicating that they have no immediate safety consequences.

The FAA's response to these findings includes a commitment to further investigate and analyze each incident to identify areas where safety measures can be improved. They aim to work closely with airports, airlines, and air traffic controllers to reduce the occurrence of runway incursions, particularly those categorized as B or higher, which have the potential for more serious consequences.


"The FAA maintains extremely conservative standards for keeping aircraft safely separated." "Safety experts investigate all events, even those in which no collision was imminent or even possible," according to the FAA.


In conclusion, the FAA's response to the New York Times story is one of transparency and commitment to safety. While the data shows a slight increase in runway incursions in 2023 compared to the previous year, it's essential to consider the broader context of a decade-long decline in such incidents. The FAA's dedication to investigating and mitigating these occurrences demonstrates their commitment to ensuring the safety of air travel in the United States.

With Inputs from FAA

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Southwest Airlines Celebrates Milestone: 200th Boeing 737 MAX 8 Lands in Phoenix!

Abhishek Nayar

22 Aug 2023

Southwest Airlines, the leading carrier known for its dedication to the Boeing 737, has marked yet another milestone in the aviation industry. On Friday, August 18th, the airline welcomed its 200th Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, solidifying its status as a major player in the aviation world.

A Historic Flight: N8890Q's Journey

The Takeoff

The historic journey of the 200th Boeing 737 MAX 8, registered as N8890Q and bearing the manufacturer serial number (MSN) 42687, commenced at the renowned Boeing Field (BFI) in Seattle, Washington. The clock struck 10:00 local time when this magnificent aircraft, flight WN8500, gracefully ascended into the sky.

The Arrival

After a smooth and awe-inspiring flight lasting two hours and twenty-six minutes, the aircraft touched down at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) at 12:21 local time. The crowd that had gathered to witness this momentous occasion erupted into applause as the 200th MAX 8 completed its journey.

The Significance of the 200th MAX 8

Southwest Airlines' dedication to the Boeing 737 is nothing short of remarkable. The airline's exclusive operation of this aircraft type showcases its commitment to efficiency, reliability, and passenger comfort. The airline exclusively operates the Boeing 737 fleet, with over 800 aircraft across all variants.

If all 737 variants are taken into account, the airline has acquired an aggregate of 812 aircraft to date. 783 of these aircraft are presently in service. The airline has 412 737-700s and 207 737-800s in its fleet of aircraft. It is worth noting that the airline has historically also operated Boeing 737-200, -300, and -500 aircraft.

Unrivaled Expertise

Southwest Airlines' status as the world's largest operator of the Boeing 737 family is a testament to its unrivaled expertise in managing and maintaining these aircraft. This expertise contributes significantly to the airline's reputation for safety and operational excellence.

Fuel Efficiency

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is renowned for its fuel efficiency. With rising concerns about environmental sustainability, this aircraft's economic use of fuel aligns perfectly with Southwest Airlines' commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

Passenger-Centric Design

Southwest Airlines' focus on providing passengers with a comfortable and enjoyable flying experience is evident in its choice of the Boeing 737 MAX 8. The aircraft's modern cabin design, spacious seating, and advanced amenities make every journey a pleasure for passengers.

Delivery Rate

On May 11, Southwest Airlines acquired its 175th Boeing 737 MAX 8. In just over three months, the airline has hit yet another milestone with the delivery of its 200th aircraft. In the previous 14 weeks, the airline has acquired 25 new aircraft. That equates to slightly about two aircraft every week. The ongoing delivery of new generation aircraft speaks eloquently about the airline's enormous operations and commitment to continually enhancing the fleet.

Southwest Airlines has a healthy order book for MAX aircraft, totaling 462 units. This comprises 270 MAX 8s and the remaining 192 MAX 7s, which are shorter but have a longer range. While no MAX 7s have yet been delivered, the airline is still waiting for the remaining 70 MAX 8s.

Looking Ahead

As Southwest Airlines celebrates its 200th Boeing 737 MAX 8, it also looks to the future with optimism. The airline's commitment to innovation and excellence ensures that passengers can continue to expect exceptional service on board its ever-growing fleet of MAX 8s.


Southwest Airlines' acquisition of its 200th Boeing 737 MAX 8 is a remarkable achievement that highlights the airline's unwavering dedication to providing safe, efficient, and enjoyable air travel. As the airline continues to expand its fleet, passengers can look forward to experiencing the comfort and convenience that have become synonymous with Southwest Airlines.

With Inputs from Nik’s News

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Sky-High Success: American Airlines Pilots Secure $9.6 Billion Deal Amidst Workforce Challenges

Abhishek Nayar

22 Aug 2023

In the fast-paced world of aviation, a recent development has garnered substantial attention. American Airlines pilots have successfully negotiated a groundbreaking contract, setting a precedent for pay and benefit increases in the airline industry.

A Landmark Decision by the Allied Pilots Association (APA)

On Monday, August 21, 2023, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing an impressive contingent of 15,000 pilots at American Airlines, made an announcement that would reverberate through the aviation sector.

An overwhelming majority, precisely 72.7% of the pilots, cast their votes in favor of this historic agreement. The outcome of this vote is expected to bring an immediate and substantial increase in earnings, eclipsing the 21% mark. Overall, remuneration for airline pilots will increase by more than 46% during the course of the contract.

According to Jefferies analysts, the US airline sector is short around 10,000 pilots. This supply-demand imbalance is expected to persist until 2027.

The Significance of the Agreement

Boosting Compensation

One of the primary facets of this contract revolves around the substantial augmentation of compensation for American Airlines pilots. The pilots' paychecks will now witness a significant uptick, ensuring that their hard work and dedication are duly rewarded. This newfound financial security is a testament to the power of collective bargaining.

Enhanced Benefits

In addition to bolstering their paychecks, American Airlines pilots can anticipate a multitude of enhanced benefits. This includes improvements in healthcare coverage, retirement plans, and travel privileges. The newfound benefits are poised to improve the overall quality of life for these skilled professionals.

The Airline Industry Landscape

Navigating Workforce Shortages

This contract victory occurs against the backdrop of an airline industry grappling with workforce shortages. The shortage of pilots has been an ongoing concern for the industry, leading to increased workloads and, in some cases, operational disruptions. The American Airlines pilots' success in securing this comprehensive agreement is a testament to their ability to negotiate effectively during a period of high demand for their services.

Attracting New Talent

Furthermore, this contract's attractiveness could extend beyond the current pool of pilots. The lucrative terms may serve as a magnet for new talent aspiring to join the ranks of American Airlines pilots. The prospect of competitive compensation and exceptional benefits can entice aspiring aviators into considering a career with the airline.

The Pilots' Perspective

A Testament to Unity

The resounding 'yes' vote from American Airlines pilots underscores the unity within the pilot community. This victory demonstrates that when pilots stand together and negotiate collectively, they can achieve remarkable outcomes. The APA's ability to advocate effectively for its members sets a precedent for other labor organizations in the airline industry.

Ensuring Stability

For American Airlines pilots, this agreement provides a sense of stability in a dynamic and unpredictable industry. The enhanced compensation and benefits offer a degree of financial security that can ease concerns about the future. This, in turn, can lead to a more focused and motivated workforce.


"The American Airlines pilots have spoken: It's time to move forward with a new working agreement that provides substantial monetary gains and quality-of-life improvements," stated Allied Pilots Association President Capt. Ed Sicher.

"This contract is an important first step towards restoring the wages, benefits, and work rules that have been lost over the last two decades while our profession has been under continuous assault." Every flight we take as pilots has a great deal of responsibility.”

“It's a duty we take seriously, as proven by the unrivaled safety record of the United States aviation sector, and it's time for our profession to deliver rewards commensurate with its unique demands."


American Airlines pilots have written a new chapter in the aviation industry's history books with their resounding acceptance of a contract that promises substantial pay and benefit increases. In a time of workforce shortages and industry challenges, their unity and determination have prevailed. This victory not only secures a brighter future for the pilots themselves but also sets a noteworthy precedent for labor negotiations in the airline sector.

With Inputs from Reuters, Allied Pilots Association