NEW DELHI: The government has given a go ahead to billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala backed startup airline Akasa.
The aviation ministry has issued the no objection certificate (NOC) and now it will need to apply for air operator permit (AOP or licence) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The proposed ultra low cost carrier (LCC) is being piloted by aviation veteran Vinay Dube and could start flying early next year.
Jhunjhunwala had recently met PM Modi in Delhi.
Delighted to meet the one and only Rakesh Jhunjhunwala…lively, insightful and very bullish on India. https://t.co/7XIINcT2Re
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1633443985000
The airline is expected to place an order for about 100 Boeing 737 Max, with Air us’ best selling A320 neo family of planes having a long waiting period for those placing orders now.
The DGCA has recently allowed modified B737 Max to fly in India. At the moment, only SpiceJet has 13 Max in the country and is yet to start operating them.
While Jhunjhunwala will invest about $35 million and hold about 40% stake, there will be other investors also on board the ultra low cost.
Apart from Akaksa, the consortia that recently got NCLT nod to revive Jet Airways says Jet 2.0 will start flying by next March.
So a mega Tata group airline -Air India-AI Express-AirAsia India (Vistara remains a separate airline for now) — will be flying early next year in addition to Akasa. Jet 2.0 may also join this party.