Akasa Air to become profitable and launch more international flights: Aditya Ghosh - Hindustan Times

Akasa Air to become profitable and launch more international flights: Aditya Ghosh

Jun 09, 2024 02:46 PM IST

More than 200 aircraft will join the Akasa Air fleet over the next 8 years.

Akasa Air is well on the path to profitability and will fly to more international destinations, including in South Asia and Southeast Asia, according to its Co-Founder Aditya Ghosh.

Representational(Akasa Air)
Representational(Akasa Air)

In less than two years of taking to the skies, Akasa Air has a fleet of 24 planes and has more than 4,000 employees.

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Ghosh, who has donned multiple and diverse roles during his career, said that airlines are becoming more of a consumption story in India, in an interview to PTI in the national capital.

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"We will increasingly see it as consumer-focused businesses where the learnings from e-commerce companies will help us address the needs and behaviour of consumers better in the transportation business," he said.

Among other roles, he had served as IndiGo's President and Whole Time Director for ten years till 2018.

When a customer-focused and employee-centric organisation is being built, it is also important to build a financially sustainable business, Ghosh said and emphasised that Akasa Air is well on the path to profitability.

"I think at Akasa we are on track to profitability. We have seen operational reliability, best on time, lowest customer complaints, highest load factors, lowest cancellations," he said.

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The airline currently has a fleet of 24 narrow-body Boeing 737 MAX planes.

"We have started flying to Doha, announced flights to Jeddah, we are going to go to more destinations in the Middle East. We will ultimately go to South Asia and Southeast Asia as well, and at the same time, go to Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities in India because there is so much potential there," Ghosh said.

The airline will start flights to Jeddah from July 15. It also has traffic rights for Kuwait and Riyadh.

On whether Akasa Air could have wide-body planes in its fleet, Ghosh said the business model that has consistently done well is the one which stays focused on one type of fleet.

With a single type of fleet, he said there will be high asset utilisation and costs are within control but that does not mean there is no market for large full-service carriers.

"At Akasa, we are very focused on textbook style, Roger Federer, Rahul Dravid style... boringly consistent. Do the basics, do them right, do them consistently," he noted.

More than 200 aircraft are expected to join the airline's fleet over the next 8 years. It has placed an order for 226 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

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While stressing that there is enough space for well-run airlines, Ghosh said he thinks Indian aviation is at a place where the growth and success of an airline is not predicated on the failure of another.

At a personal level, Ghosh started off as a lawyer and then got involved in the airline business. He is on the boards of The ePlane Company, OYO, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and GreenCell Mobility, among other roles.

Ghosh has made investments through his venture Homage Ventures. He has funded various companies, including indigenous coffee roaster Blue Tokai and healthy food products maker Wholsum Foods.

"I am on a journey in pursuit of excellence and that excellence is not just in the businesses that I am involved in, personally, I am a slightly better person than I was yesterday," he remarked.

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