India’s emerging airline, Akasa Air, is setting ambitious goals for the coming years, with plans to start international services by the end of this fiscal year and place a three-digit aircraft order, according to its CEO, Vinay Dube. Dube recently disclosed that the airline aims to make its debut on the stock exchange by the end of the decade, emphasizing the importance of accumulating more operational history before launching an initial public offering (IPO).
Founded just 14 months ago, Akasa Air has rapidly grown, already operating more than 750 weekly flights across 16 domestic destinations, including major cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Delhi. To bolster its fleet for future expansion, the airline has committed to an order of 76 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, set to be integrated into its operations by mid-2027.
Currently maintaining a fleet of 20 aircraft, Akasa Air is also eyeing a significant aircraft order before the close of 2023. Dube underlined that the airline is already generating free cash from its operations and is well-funded for the incoming aircraft order.
Looking ahead, Dube outlined the company’s medium-term goals, projecting that Akasa Air expects to operate a fleet of 76 planes by mid-2027. The airline’s overarching ambition is to establish itself as a pan-India player with a robust domestic and international network, while also expanding its operational bases.
Regarding the timeline for going public, Dube stated, “I don’t think 2027 will be possible for a listing, but the listing is something that we definitely want to do. We may have to gather a little more history before we can list. Certainly, listing or an IPO is something that we would desire.” However, Dube expressed that listing by the end of the decade is a “much more realistic goal.”
At present, only two operational scheduled carriers are listed on the Indian stock exchanges – IndiGo and SpiceJet, with the now-grounded Jet Airways and Go First having faced challenges in their IPO attempts.
Akasa Air has already secured international flying rights for destinations including Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Doha in Qatar, and Kuwait, signaling its imminent entry into the international aviation arena.
Dube highlighted the airline’s growth trajectory, noting that they anticipate taking delivery of two more aircraft before the end of this calendar year, which will bring their fleet to 25 aircraft. By the conclusion of the following financial year, they aim to have approximately 40 aircraft in operation. With adequate funding and a positive free cash flow, the airline seems poised for significant expansion.
The recent departure of around 40 pilots without serving notice periods caused turbulence for Akasa Air, leading to the cancellation of some flights. The airline has initiated legal action against the pilots involved to address the issue.
As per the latest official data, Akasa Air has flown 5.17 lakh (517,000) passengers and has captured a domestic market share of 4.2 percent.
In June, the airline announced an additional order for four Boeing 737-8 jets, supplementing the existing order for 72 aircraft from Boeing. In total, Akasa Air will possess 76 aircraft, including 23 Boeing 737-8s and 53 Boeing 737-8-200s, by mid-2027.
Akasa Air’s journey continues to be marked by growth and ambition, as it sets its sights on becoming a prominent player in India’s competitive aviation industry. With the prospect of international operations on the horizon and plans for an eventual IPO, the airline is poised to make significant strides in the years to come.
Sources By Agencies