Akasa Air has informed that it took delivery of its much anticipated first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Seattle, USA.
The airline, which is backed by ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and aviation veterans Vinay Dube and Aditya Ghosh, received the no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in August 2021 to launch commercial flight operations.
“With a strong commitment to democratise the skies, the airlines’ total order of 72 aircraft includes an initial delivery of 18 aircraft by March 2023, followed by delivery of the remaining 54 aircraft over the course of the next four years,” Akasa Air said in a statement.
Commenting on the successful delivery, Vinay Dube – Founder, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Akasa Air said, “This is indeed a symbolic milestone in the journey of Akasa Air, bringing us one step closer to the process of obtaining our Air Operator’s Permit (AOP) and leading to our commercial launch. While we are extremely happy with this achievement, we want to keep ourselves focussed on the task of delivering on our vision to transform India’s air transportation ecosystem, support the nation’s economic growth engine and help fellow Indians chase their dreams.”
“We are grateful to Boeing and Griffin for their trust in us and supporting us early in our journey. I, along with our team, are looking forward to receiving our first aircraft in Delhi early next week as it arrives from Seattl,” Dube added.
“We are honored to deliver the first 737 MAX to Akasa Air, India’s newest airline focused on making air travel inclusive and affordable for all,” said Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO.
“Flying an advanced, environmentally progressive 737 MAX fleet with greater fuel efficiency and lower operating costs will enable Akasa Air to profitably serve the Indian market while passing those savings on to its passengers.”
Earlier, Akasa Air had signed a contract with Irish leasing company Griffin Global Asset Management for sale and leaseback of five Boeing 737 Max aircraft, a statement said on Thursday.
Under sale and leaseback model, the airline sells its planes to a leasing company and then leases them back. This frees up the cash that the airline has spent in buying the aircraft.
Akasa Air had signed a deal with Boeing to purchase 72 Max aircraft on November 26, 2021, approximately three months after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) gave the green light to Max planes.
Akasa Air is scheduled to receive its first Max aircraft this month and is planning to launch its commercial flight operations in July.
A statement by Griffin Global Asset Management said it “is pleased to announce the mandate for purchase and leaseback of five Boeing 737-8 aircraft with Akasa Air, a new airline based in India”.
Commenting on the contract with Griffin, Dube, Founder, Managing Director and CEO, Akasa Air, said, “We are pleased to have Griffin as our partners in growth as we embark on our aviation journey. The high degree of confidence and endorsement from the Griffin team is a testimony to Akasa Air’s robust and sustainable future.”