Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, has received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), allowing the airline to continue with its plans to launch operations in late July 2022.
On July 7, 2022, the carrier obtained its operator’s permit, proving that the start-up airline meets all necessary regulatory and compliance requirements needed to begin its first flights.
“The process concluded with the airline having successfully conducted a number of proving flights under the supervision of the country’s aviation regulator,” Akasa Air wrote in a statement.
The new airline, which will perform flights under the code ‘QP’, has already taken delivery of its first aircraft. According to Planespotters.com data, it is the airline’s first, and currently only, plane. The three-year-old Boeing 737 MAX 8, registered VT-YAA, joined the carrier in June 2022.
Akasa Air has a total of 72 Boeing 737 MAX family jets on order, all of which are powered by CFM LEAP-1B engines. The order, which is expected to make the airline’s fleet the youngest and greenest in India, was placed in November 2022, and was valued at almost $9 billion at list prices at the time.
Back in June, the airline’s CEO Vinay Dube warned that the company could postpone the launch of its regular flights until the end of 2023 because it was not able to reach necessary agreements with airports without providing its AOC. However, it appears that the airline was able to overcome the obstacle and is now ready to proceed with its initial plan to commence flying during summer 2022.
“We now look forward to opening our flights for sale, leading to the start of commercial operations by late July 2022. This will begin our journey towards building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline,” the CEO said.
Akasa Air plans to start commercial flights with two passenger jets, before continuing to gradually grow its fleet of aircraft. The new Indian carrier said it expects to end the fiscal year 2022-23 with 18 planes and will then add between 12 and 14 aircraft every 12 months, taking delivery of its whole order of 72 jets by 2027.
Founded in December 2021, Akasa Air will offer air connectivity services across several cities in India, such as Bangalore (BLR), Delhi (DEL), Chennai (MAA), Hyderabad (HYD), and Mumbai (BOM) as part of its initial network. However, the exact routes will be announced closer to the airline’s launch date.