Washington: Akasa Air, a new airline targeting domestic travel in India, ordered 72 fuel-efficient 737 Max passenger jets valued at nearly $9 billion, Boeing said on Tuesday.
“Akasa Air’s order includes two variants from the 737 MAX family, the 737-8 and the high-capacity 737-8-200. Providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience, the 737 MAX will ensure Akasa Air has a competitive edge in its dynamic home market,” Boeing said in a press release.
Akasa plans to offer commercial flights starting in the summer of 2022 and use its new fleet of 737s to meet the growing demand across India, the release added.
The startup airline targeting discount domestic service in India is backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. The order followed a recent decision by Indian aviation authorities to clear the 737 Max to fly, a report in The Times of India said.
The purchase with list prices of $9 billion was announced at the Dubai Air Show, nearly three years after the March 2019 grounding of the 737 Max, after two fatal crashes within five months killed 346 passengers and crew.