Akasa Air’s Listing Plans and Growth Trajectory: The Akasa Way
Indian airline Akasa Air is strategically planning to be listed on the stock exchange by the end of the decade. The CEO, Vinay Dube, shared insights into the airline’s expansion, emphasizing the need to accumulate more operational history before launching an initial public offering (IPO).
Expanding Horizons: International Services and Aircraft Orders:
Akasa Air, a 14-month-old airline, currently operates over 750 weekly flights across 16 domestic destinations, including major cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Delhi. The airline is now poised to embark on international services by the end of the fiscal year and has solidified its growth plans with a substantial order for 76 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. These aircraft are slated to join the airline’s fleet by mid-2027, signaling a significant expansion in capacity.
Fleet Growth and Financial Strength:
While already operating with a fleet of 20 aircraft, Akasa Air is actively pursuing an order for a three-digit number of aircraft before the year’s end, further underlining its commitment to growth. Importantly, the CEO affirmed that the airline is currently generating free cash from operations and is financially well-prepared for the incoming aircraft order.
A Vision for the Future:
Vinay Dube, the founder and CEO of Akasa Air, envisions the airline having a fleet of 76 planes by mid-2027. The strategic goal is to establish Akasa Air as a prominent player in the Indian aviation industry, featuring a robust domestic and international network with multiple operational bases.
The Path to Going Public:
On the topic of an IPO and stock market listing, Dube expressed the company’s desire to list but acknowledged the need to amass more operational history. While a listing in 2027 might not be feasible, he noted that listing before the end of the decade is a much more realistic goal. As of now, IndiGo and SpiceJet are the only operational scheduled carriers listed on the Indian stock exchanges, with Jet Airways also listed, although it ceased operations in 2019. Go First’s previous attempts for an IPO were unsuccessful.
International Expansion of Akasa and Positive Outlook:
Akasa Air has secured international flying rights to several destinations, including Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Doha in Qatar, and Kuwait. The airline is gearing up to commence overseas operations and anticipates further growth. With an increasing number of aircraft deliveries, the airline is optimistic about the future, with plans to have 25 aircraft in operation by the end of the current calendar year and approximately 40 by the following financial year.
Steady Financial Position and Addressing Challenges:
The CEO asserted that Akasa Air is well-funded for its extensive aircraft order and is currently generating positive free cash flow. Dube also addressed recent rumors regarding the Jhunjhunwala family’s involvement, stating that they are committed long-term investors.
Akasa’s Recent Challenges and Resilience:
Despite facing challenges such as the abrupt exit of around 40 pilots, which led to flight cancellations and legal actions, Akasa Air remains resilient. The airline has served over 517,000 passengers and holds a domestic market share of 4.2%, according to the latest official data.
Aircraft Order and Expansion Plans:
In June, Akasa Air announced an order for an additional four Boeing 737-8 jets, supplementing its prior order for 72 aircraft from Boeing. This strategic move will bolster the airline’s fleet to a total of 76 aircraft, including 23 Boeing 737-8s and 53 Boeing 737-8-200s, all expected to be in service by mid-2027.
Akasa Air Destinations:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Akasa Air’s Listing and Expansion Plans
1. What are Akasa Air’s plans for listing on the stock exchange?
Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, intends to be listed on the stock exchange by the end of this decade. While listing by 2027 may not be feasible, the airline aims to achieve this goal before the end of the decade, emphasizing the need to accumulate more operational history before launching an initial public offering (IPO).
2. How is Akasa Air expanding its services and fleet?
Akasa Air is actively planning to expand its services by initiating international operations by the end of the fiscal year. The airline has also placed a significant order for 76 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which are expected to join its fleet by mid-2027. With a current fleet of 20 aircraft, the airline is set to order a three-digit number of additional aircraft by the end of 2023.
3. What is Akasa Air’s financial status and its readiness for the new aircraft order?
The airline’s CEO, Vinay Dube, stated that Akasa Air is already generating free cash from operations and is financially well-prepared for the substantial incoming aircraft order. This readiness reflects the airline’s commitment to its growth plans.
4. What are Akasa Air’s medium-term goals for fleet size?
By mid-2027, Akasa Air expects to have a fleet of 76 planes. The airline’s strategic goal is to become a prominent player in the Indian aviation industry with a robust domestic and international network, featuring multiple operational bases.
5. What is the significance of going public for Akasa Air?
While Akasa Air desires to be listed on the stock exchange, the CEO acknowledged that more operational history needs to be gathered. Listing before the end of the decade is considered a more realistic goal, making Akasa Air potentially one of the few listed carriers in India.
6. How does Akasa Air plan to address international expansion?
Akasa Air has secured international flying rights for destinations such as Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Doha in Qatar, and Kuwait. The airline is poised to begin overseas operations and anticipates further growth in the international sector.
7. How is Akasa Air navigating recent challenges?
Despite facing challenges like the abrupt exit of around 40 pilots, leading to flight cancellations and legal actions, Akasa Air remains resilient. The airline continues to grow, serving over 517,000 passengers and holding a domestic market share of 4.2%, according to the latest official data.
8. What is Akasa Air’s strategy for expanding its aircraft fleet?
In addition to the 72 aircraft ordered from Boeing, Akasa Air announced an order for four additional Boeing 737-8 jets in June. This strategic move will increase the airline’s fleet to a total of 76 aircraft, including 23 Boeing 737-8s and 53 Boeing 737-8-200s, all of which are expected to be in service by mid-2027.
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