Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Akasa Air places order for 72 Boeing 737 MAX jets

The order might benefit the US plane-maker to regain misplaced ground in one of the world’s most encouraging markets.

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Akasa Air, the Indian budget airline, supported by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, set a purchase for 72 Boeing 737 MAX jets. “Akasa Air’s order includes two variants from the 737 MAX family, including the 737-8 and the high-capacity 737-8-200,” the joint statement by Akasa Air and Boeing mentioned.

The order might benefit the US plane-maker to regain misplaced ground in one of the world’s most encouraging markets. “We are delighted to partner with Boeing for our first aeroplane order and thank them for their trust and confidence in Akasa Air’s business plan and leadership team,” the airline’s CEO, Vinay Dube, said, according to the statement.

“India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world with an unparalleled potential. We are already witnessing a strong recovery in air travel, and we see decades of growth ahead of us,” Dube said.

Last month, SNV Aviation, which holds Akasa Air, said it assumed to begin operating next year after receiving immediate clearance from the civil aviation ministry to thrust its latest ultra-low-cost carrier. Akasa Air intends to provide flights across India during the summer of 2022 with an “endeavour to be the nation’s most dependable, affordable and greenest airline”.

Jhunjhunwala, recognised as “India’s Warren Buffett”, has hauled up with former chief executives of IndiGo, the country’s largest carrier, and Jet Airways to penetrate the market for internal air travel, which is reaching pre-pandemic levels as the nation heals from a disastrous COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year.

In August, India’s air safety regulator approved its airlines to fly the MAX jet to complete its nearly two-and-a-half-year regulatory grounding. The 737 MAX was floored worldwide in March 2019 after two deadly wrecks in five months, killing 346 people, rushing Boeing into a fiscal disaster, which the COVID-19 pandemic has since intensified.

Boeing manages India’s market of 51 planes, but fare conflicts and high prices have commenced losses among full-service carriers, including Kingfisher Airlines in 2012 and Jet Airways in 2019, making budget carriers and Airbus even more imperative.

Boeing’s portion of India’s 570 narrow-body planes dropped to 18% from 35% after Jet’s downfall in 2018, data from consultancy CAPA India displays. Currently, SpiceJet is Boeing’s most significant and only buyer for the MAX planes in the nation.

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