Akasa Air, backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, on Tuesday placed an order for 72 Boeing 737 MAX jets.
The low-cost Indian carrier’s order, valued at nearly $9 billion at list prices, includes 737-8 and 737-8-200 planes.
“We are delighted to partner with Boeing for our first airplane order and thank them for their trust and confidence in Akasa Air’s business plan and leadership team,” Akasa Air CEO Vinay Dube said at the 2021 Dubai Airshow. “We believe that the new 737 MAX airplane will support our aim of running not just a cost-efficient, reliable and affordable airline, but also an environmentally friendly company with the youngest and greenest fleet in the Indian skies.”
“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,” he added.
Stan Deal, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “We are honoured that Akasa Air, an innovative airline focused on customer experience and environmental sustainability, has placed its trust in the 737 family to drive affordable passenger service in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation regions.
“The 737 MAX, with its optimized performance, flexibility and capability, is the perfect airplane to establish Akasa Air in the Indian market and ensure it effectively grows its network.”
Last month, SNV Aviation, which owns Akasa Air, said it expected to start flying next year after getting initial clearance from the civil aviation ministry to launch the carrier.
The 737 MAX was grounded globally in March 2019 after two fatal crashes in five months killed 346 people.