Ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed new airline Akasa Air has received its air operator certificate (AOC or licence) from the aviation regulator DGCA (directorate general of civil aviation). The airline plans to start flying operations, with two Boeing 737 Max commercial planes by the month-end.

Akasa Air aims to be India’s “most dependable airline”, and aims to offer warm and efficient customer service, reliable operations, and affordable fares - all in the Akasa Way. Akasa says its youthful personality, employee-centric philosophy, tech-led approach, and culture of service will make this commitment a reality for all Indians. The carrier plans to offer commercial flights starting in the summer of 2022 to support the growing demand across India.

The AOC process ended after the airline successfully held many proving flights, which were observed by the aviation regulator.

With this, Akasa joins the likes of Air India, Vistara, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoFirst, AirAsia India, Air India Express and government-owned regional carrier Alliance Air. Like Akasa, the revived Jet Airways is also planning to fly again soon. It received the AOC from the DGCA on May 20, 2022.

"The grant of the AOC is the final step of a comprehensive and rigorous process laid down by the DGCA and marks the satisfactory completion of all regulatory and compliance requirements for the airline’s operational readiness," Akasa says in a statement.

The airline this week unveiled the first look of its airline crew uniform. The trouser and jacket fabric of the uniform has been made using recycled polyester fabric, which is made from pet bottle plastic salvaged from marine waste, the carrier says in a statement. Akasa Air has also introduced sneakers for its cabin crew.

The aviation industry veterans like Vinay Dube and Aditya Ghosh are leading the newest airline. Vinay Dube, founder and chief executive officer, Akasa Air says the airline now looks forward to opening flights for sale by starting commercial operations by late July. "This will begin our journey towards building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline,” he adds.

Dube says this is not just a significant milestone for Akasa Air and Indian aviation, but also a "testimony to the story of a vibrant and resilient India".

Akasa Air, whose airline code is QP, received its first 737 MAX on June 21, 2022. After starting the operations later this month, the airline says it will subsequently add to its fleet every month. "By the end of the fiscal year 2022-23, the airline will have inducted 18 aircraft and thereafter 12-14 aircraft every 12 months, which will make up its order of 72 delivered over five years," says Akasa Air.

Besides, Akasa Air says, in line with the government’s digitisation initiative, it has been the first airline whose end-to-end AOC process was conducted using the government’s progressive eGCA digital platform.

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