Indian startup Akasa Air’s launch network will comprise of two routes, with commercial service beginning on Aug. 7.
“Akasa Air’s network strategy is focused on establishing a strong pan-India presence and providing linkages from metro to tier two and tier three cities across the country,” co-founder and CCO Praveen Iyer said.
“We kick-start operations with flights between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, with the brand-new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. We will adopt a phased approach to support our network expansion plans, progressively connecting more cities, as we add two aircraft to our fleet each month, in our first year.”
Mumbai-based Akasa was granted an air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the Indian government earlier this month, paving the way for the August launch. The LCC took delivery of its first 737-8 in June and is scheduled to receive 18 through March 2023.
Akasa will then take delivery of 12-14 MAX aircraft every 12 months from April 2023, and plans to have received all 72 of the type it has on order by 2027.
In the Mumbai-Ahmedabad market, the airline will compete with four other carriers. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows IndiGo currently serves the sector up to 6X-daily, Go First offers 25X-weekly flights and Vistara operates three times per day. Air India also flies the route ones daily.
In total, there are about 34,500 two-way scheduled weekly seats between the destinations at present, compared with about 49,600 at this time in 2019.
Akasa’s flights between BOM and AMD will take about 1 hr. 20 min., departing BOM at 10.05 a.m. daily except Wednesdays, and at 2.05 p.m. daily. The return service leaves AMD at 12.05 p.m. daily except Wednesdays, and at 4.05 p.m. daily.
Between Bengaluru and Kochi, Akasa will compete with IndiGo’s 5X-daily service, AirAsia India’s 4X-daily flights and Alliance Air’s 1X-daily operation. Akasa will offer 2X-daily flights, departing BLR at 7.15 a.m. and 11 a.m. The return services from COK take off at 9.05 a.m. and 1.10 p.m.
OAG figures show that the BLR-COK market currently has 25,000 two-way weekly nonstop seats in operation, up from 23,400 during the same week three years ago before the pandemic.