Days after the untimely demise of ace stock market investor and Akasa Air’s largest promoter Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the airline has said that the company has enough capital to induct 72 airlines in the next five years.
Akasa Air received its third aircraft on Tuesday, which will be put into operation on the Mumbai-Bengaluru route. The airline is planning to add new aircraft every two weeks.
Vinay Dube, Founder and CEO, Akasa Air said, “Yesterday we received our third aircraft in Delhi, which will be put into operation on the Mumbai-Bengaluru sector shortly. We will continue to grow our fleet by adding one new aircraft every two weeks. While these are gratifying moments in our journey, we at Akasa Air continue to mourn the passing of Mr. Jhunjhunwala. For those of us at Akasa that got to know him and whose lives he has touched, this is a deep personal loss.”
“Thanks in no small part to Mr. Jhunjhunwala, for which we will always be grateful, Akasa Air is a well-capitalized airline with the financial means to induct 72 aircraft over the next five years. In fact, our financial platform is strong enough to allow Akasa to place an aircraft order in the next 18 months that will be significantly larger than our first. In simple terms, our growth is secure,” he added.
Jhunjhunwala launched Akasa Air in a highly competitive market, with the likes of IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Air India already dominating the industry. The airline first began operations on August 7, between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Acknowledging Jhunjhunwala’s constant support for recruiting a highly talented aviation leadership, Dube said that Akasa Air will continue to honor the stock market maverick’s legacy. Notably, Jhunjhunwala had invested $200 million in the airline for a 46 per cent stake in the company.
Dube said, “We are also thankful that Mr. Jhunjhunwala supported us in recruiting some of the best aviation talents in the country. He wanted us to have a top-notch leadership team that made all day-to-day decisions at the airline without having to fall back on him or any other investor. Anyone that saw him on our inaugural flight on August 7th knows how proud he was of each Akasa employee and partner. On our part, we couldn’t be prouder and more fortunate to have known him.”
“Mr. Jhunjhunwala recognized India’s potential as one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world with an unparalleled potential and decades of progress ahead of us. He was a true believer in India’s potential and saw Akasa Air serving our nation by building the transportation links that will support India’s ongoing economic transformation. Akasa Air will honor Mr. Jhunjhunwala’s legacy, values, and belief in us by striving to run an extraordinary airline,” he added.
Akasa Air is registered as SNV Aviation and got approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation last month. Apart from Dube, the top management of the airline includes Aditya Ghosh, who is the former director of IndiGo. Dube has a 31 per cent stake in the airline, whereas Ghosh reportedly holds a 10 per cent stake in the airline.
The stock market maverick passed away on August 14 after suffering a cardiac arrest.