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BT Exclusive: Akasa Air to be world's greenest airline, says CEO Vinay Dube

BT Exclusive: Akasa Air to be world's greenest airline, says CEO Vinay Dube

One of India's most awaited airline launches, Akasa is looking at commencing commercial operations by July.

Akasa had officially announced that it had placed an order for 72 B737 MAX family of aircraft at a list price of $9 billion in November last year. Akasa had officially announced that it had placed an order for 72 B737 MAX family of aircraft at a list price of $9 billion in November last year.

Backed by its spanking new fleet of brand new 737 MAX aircraft powered by the highly fuel-efficient CFM LEAP B engine low-cost carrier (LCC) Akasa Air will be operating not only one of the youngest fleets but also the greenest airline globally.
 
"Today, passengers are increasingly seeking environmentally friendly options to travel, and in this regard, Akasa is proud to be the world's most environmentally friendly airline with the youngest and greenest fleet in global aviation," founder & CEO, Vinay Dube told Business Today.
 
One of the most awaited launches of recent times in the world's third-largest domestic aviation market, Akasa had officially announced that it had placed an order for 72 B737 MAX family of aircraft at a list price of $9 billion in November last year. Later this month, Dube will be flying with the airline's senior management team to Seattle to take delivery of the aircraft. The airline is looking at launching commercial operations by July.
 
"We are now well on track to receive our first aircraft in India by mid-June and launch commercial operations in India by July 2022. We have already received our airline code, QP, and have recently shared the first photos of our aircraft as it gets ready at the Boeing facility in the US. We plan to fly 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023," informed Dube.
 
With stringent environmental and emission regulations being enforced by regulators, the adoption of new technologies is becoming increasingly important for companies in the transportation sector.
 
"In the past year or so, we've seen many airlines across the globe commit to achieving net carbon neutrality by 2050. To accomplish this goal, airlines will need to introduce new forms of technologies, including the replacement of older, thirstier planes as well as explore the adoption of sustainable aviation fuels, biofuels or other touted options, such as hydrogen, that deliver better fuel efficiency," observed analyst at S&P Global Ratings, Abhishek Dangra.
 
With the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane and high dispatch reliability, the Boeing 737 MAX may provide Akasa a competitive edge in one of the world's most cut-throat aviation markets.
 
Lower fares, enhanced efficiencies
 
In addition, the airline has also partnered with the US-based reservation systems provider Navitaire to implement its tech-enabled strategy to offer the reliability of operations and lower fares.
 
"While pricing is important, it will not be the only differentiator," averred Dube. "Compared to current industry standards, we plan to adopt a more progressive approach in our use of technology and data analytics. That starts from the way a customer books a ticket on Akasa, the payment experience, or in how we service our customers during and after their travel with us."
 
The airline will be leveraging the Navitaire platform in areas such as reducing wait time at airport check-in counters and ensuring quicker luggage arrival.
 
"Navitaire offers a suite of solutions that are tightly integrated with the core Passenger Service System (PSS) and Departure Control System (DCS). This modular architecture allows Akasa the flexibility to choose additional modules and solutions as per our business needs without having to worry about integrating them into core offerings. This is extremely critical in offering a seamless experience for our customers," the airline's co-founder & chief information officer (CIO), Anand Srinivasan told BT.
 
Next on Dube's list of priorities is to obtain the Air Operators Certificate (AOC), which they hope to obtain upon satisfactory completion of a rigorous process laid down by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), including a series of proving flights. An aircraft is required to undertake five successful landings with a full complement of pilots and cabin crew under DGCA supervision as part of the process.

Also read: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air's launch may be delayed further

Also read: Akasa Air launch may be delayed further over delay in aircraft delivery