Indian Startup Expands Launch Network

Akasa Air has added a fifth destination ahead of starting commercial operations on Aug. 7.

Credit: Akasa Air

Chennai will become the fifth point to be served by India’s newest airline Akasa Air, in addition to the existing destinations of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, and Mumbai.

The startup plans to operate daily flights between Mumbai (BOM)-Chennai (MAA) from Sept. 15—an already competitive sector that is served by five other carriers.

According to OAG Schedules Analyser data for the week commencing Aug. 1, Air India flies 14X-weekly; Go First 6X-weekly; IndiGo 58X-weekly; SpiceJet 8X-weekly and Vistara 28X-weekly.

In total there are 43,668 two-way weekly seats between Mumbai and Chennai currently available, compared with 57,064 at this time three years ago.

In addition to the BOM-MAA route launch, Akasa Air has also announced that daily Ahmedabad (AMD)-Bengaluru (BLR) flights will start on Aug. 23.

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“With the first flight scheduled to take off on Aug. 7, we have seen tremendous response for booking from travellers and our first flight got sold out within a day of going live,” co-founder and CCO Praveen Iyer said.

“With an aircraft arriving every fortnight, we are delighted to augment our network to meet our commitment of progressively adding more cities along new sectors to establish a strong pan-India presence, with a focus on metro to tier two and three route connectivity.”

Akasa Air will begin commercial operations with two Boeing 737-8s on Aug. 7, connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad. It will take an additional two per month and by the end of 2023 expects to have a fleet of 18 aircraft. Overall, the carrier has a firm order with Boeing for 72 aircraft, to be delivered over the next five years.

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