Explained: How India’s aviation market is changing with new players

By Indian Express

After more than a year of distressing performance caused by the Covid19 pandemic, the Indian airlines space is gearing up for entry of two airlines — Jet Airways 2.0, and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa. While the detailed plans for both the airlines are being finalised, it has underscored investor appetite in the airlines segment at a time when the existing players are in the red because of muted travel demand during the pandemic.

What is Akasa?

Akasa is an upcoming “ultra low-cost carrier”, or ULCC, being launched by stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, who will hold a 40% stake in the airline company. Jhunjhunwala has reportedly planned to launch the airline by April 2022, and has onboarded aviation industry veterans such as former Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube and ex-IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh to run the airline. While Dube is expected to be the CEO of the company, Ghosh is expected to be on the board as Jhunjhunwala’s nominee.

The Mumbai-based investor will pump in $35 million, according to a Bloomberg report, and is planning to have a fleet of 70 planes over the next four years. The airline expects to be granted a no-objection certificate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation over the next few days.

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