Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, announced international operations with the addition of Qatar’s capital Doha as its first international destination.

Starting March 28, 2024, Akasa Air will operate four non-stop flights a week, connecting Mumbai with Doha, enhancing air connectivity between Qatar and India. Bookings for flights are now open with return fares starting at ₹29,012, the budget carrier says.

With this, Akasa Air becomes the first Indian airline to fly overseas in a record period of 19 months since its inception.

The low-cost carrier received approval from the ministry of civil aviation for international operations in September last year. The airline aims to target Southeast Asia and the Middle East to grab a piece of the Indian carrier’s international market share.

“We are delighted to announce our international operations with the launch of our first destination - Doha, to our growing network. The introduction of four flights a week, connecting directly with Mumbai, a key Indian commercial hub, will cater to a diverse set of travellers from the two countries, facilitating tourism, commerce and strengthening bilateral ties,” says Vinay Dube, founder and CEO, Akasa Air.

“We are proud of our remarkable growth since inception, which is also a testimony of the sheer potential of the Indian aviation industry. Our foray into Qatar marks the next phase of growth as we continue our journey towards becoming one of the world’s top 30 airlines by the turn of this decade”, he adds.

“We are driven by our purpose of connecting people, places and cultures and will continue to augment our global footprint in the coming months,” Dube says.

This comes days after Akasa commenced daily flights to Ayodhya from Pune and Delhi. Since its launch in August 2022, Akasa Air has served over 7.7 million passengers and connects with 20 cities such as Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Guwahati, Agartala, Pune, Lucknow, Goa, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bagdogra, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Port Blair, Ayodhya, Gwalior, and Srinagar.

In January, the no-frills carrier placed an order for 150 737 Max aircraft with the U.S. aviation giant Boeing. The order includes delivery of 737 MAX 10 and 737 MAX 8-200 jets through 2032.

“These additions to our fleet will help us bolster the strength of our operations as we expand our footprint and foray into international skies in the very near future,” Dube said.

“As the airline plans to expand its footprint in India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, this latest order will support Akasa Air’s ambitions and cater to the country’s burgeoning air travel demand, on its way to becoming the largest aviation market by 2047,” the airline said.

In September 2023, the budget airline moved the Bombay High Court against five pilots, seeking over ₹21 crore in damages from each of them. The claim was filed against the set of commanders the airline said resigned without fulfilling the notice period specified in their contracts.

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