India's billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is planning to start a budget airline with a fleet of 70 planes. According to the report, the prospective airline, Akasa Air, will be acquiring its fleet of aircraft over the following four years.
In a Television interview on Wednesday, Jhunjhunwala, who is considering spending $35 million and owning 40% of the carrier, said he hopes to receive a no-objection certificate from India's aviation ministry in the next 15 days.
The ultra-low-cost airline will be known as Akasa Air, and the team, which includes a former Delta Air Lines Inc. executive, is considering planes that can carry 180 passengers.
It's a risky investment by Jhunjhunwala, dubbed "India's Warren Buffett" by locals, in a sector where other airlines have folded due to strong rate wars and excessive costs. Even still, what was once the world's fastest-growing aviation market has its charm, and Jhunjhunwala is looking for ways to entice travellers with a brand new airline that offers affordable tickets.
Jhunjhunwala's foray into aviation comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is causing financial concern for international and domestic carriers. Jhunjhunwala, on the other hand, will be hoping for an increase in travel during the following four years.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Jhunjhunwala said, "For a company's culture to be thrifty, you have to start from scratch." "I'm very, very bullish on India's aviation business in terms of demand," he continued.
Akasa Air intends to be a low-cost carrier with planes capable of carrying 180 passengers.
The arrival of Jhunjhunwala would be one of the most significant developments in the Indian aviation sector this year. Jet Airways was authorised to fly again earlier this year after the Murari-Kalrock group acquired the airline out of insolvency proceedings.