Akasa Air (QP, Mumbai International) will start to roll out its commercial flight operations from June and is working to obtain all of the relevant licences it needs by then, its chief executive Vinay Dube divulged during an interactive session of the Wings India 2022 conference in Hyderabad on March 25, the Press Trust of India reported.

“We hope to launch our first commercial flight in the month of June. We are working very closely with Ministry of Civil Aviation and the DGCA [Directorate General of Civil Aviation] to get our licensing done,” he said in response to a question.

The start-up low-cost carrier, which is backed by Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and has recruited former executives of IndiGo Airlines and Jet Airways, plans to have 18 aircraft in its fleet within 12 months of launching, then add 12 to 14 per year, to make 72 aircraft in five years.

Akasa Air placed an order with Boeing last November for seventy-two B737-8 and B737-8-200 MAX jets, and Dube outlined similar fleet ramp-up plans in an interview with the Times of India in January.

Akasa Air will specialise in connecting tier II and tier III cities within India, but Dube has yet to confirm the cities it will serve. It will then seek approval to commence international services by summer 2023. The airline received initial clearance to commence operations from the civil aviation ministry in October.