Akasa Air, the new airline backed by billionaire share investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, has placed orders for 72 Boeing 737 Max jets to build its fleet. The order is valued at $9 billion at list prices.
“We are honoured that Akasa Air… has placed its trust in the 737 family to drive affordable passenger service in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation regions,” Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement.
According to the statement by Boeing, Akasa Air has ordered two models from the 737 MAX family, the 737-8 and the high-capacity 737-8-200. The Mumbai-based carrier will begin taking delivery of the planes starting mid-2022.
This is the first order for Max by an Indian airline after the two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2019; their global ungrounding and subsequent return to service from late last year after carrying out required modifications to ensure safety.
Akasa Air CEO Vinay Dube said: “ India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world with unparalleled potential. We are already witnessing a strong recovery in air travel, and we see decades of growth ahead of us. Akasa Air’s core purpose is to help power India’s growth engine and democratize air travel by creating an inclusive environment for all Indians regardless of their socio-economic or cultural backgrounds and I believe the new 737 Max will support our aim of running a cost-efficient, the reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly airline with the youngest fleet in the Indian skies.
Meanwhile, SpiceJet is the only customer for the MAX planes in the country currently.