Air Freight News

Indian billionaire investor plans 70 planes for new airline

Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is planning on having 70 aircraft within four years for a new airline he wants to set up in India on optimism more people will travel by air.

Jhunjhunwala, who is considering investing $35 million and would own 40% of the carrier, expects to get a no-objection certificate from India’s aviation ministry in the next 15 days, he said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday. The ultra-low cost airline will be called Akasa Air and the team, which includes a former senior executive of Delta Air Lines Inc., is looking at planes that can carry 180 passengers, he said.

It’s a bold bet by Jhunjhunwala, who’s known locally as India’s Warren Buffett, in a market that has seen some airlines collapse in the face of intense fare wars and high costs. Still, what was once the world’s fastest-growing aviation market holds an allure and Jhunjhunwala is looking at opportunities to woo flyers with a brand new carrier offering low fares.

“For the culture of a company to be frugal you’ve to start off fresh,” Jhunjhunwala said. “I’m very, very bullish on India’s aviation sector in terms of demand.”

Even before the pandemic, airlines in India were struggling. Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., once the country’s second-largest domestic carrier, ended operations in 2012, and Jet Airways India Ltd., which was recently approved to fly again, collapsed in 2019.

While demand for air travel has been hit globally, India’s aviation industry is at greater risk of delayed recovery as the threat of a third wave of infections looms. Airlines are feeling the impact.

Vistara, which Singapore Airlines Ltd. jointly owns with conglomerate Tata Group, is in discussions with Boeing Co. and Airbus SE to delay aircraft deliveries and make changes to the payment timetables. IndiGo, India’s largest airline, reported a wider-than-anticipated loss as Covid disruption crimped its revenue.

That’s not deterring Jhunjhunwala, who according to Forbes has an estimated net worth of about $4.6 billion.

“I think some of the increment players may not recover,” he said. “I’ve got some of the best airline people in the world as my partners.”

Bloomberg
Bloomberg

{afn_job_title}

© Bloomberg
The author’s opinion are not necessarily the opinions of the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

Similar Stories

Southwest’s next CEO is reluctant to share lists of unruly passengers

Southwest Airlines Co.’s next chief executive officer said the carrier is wary of sharing no-fly lists with other airlines, as advocated by Delta Air Lines Inc. to protect flight crews…

View Article
Beaten-down airline stocks celebrate easing of travel rules

The easing of U.S. and U.K. travel restrictions is breathing new life into European airline stocks.

View Article
American Air pilots seek to oust managers over flight snags

American Airlines Group Inc. pilots’ union called for the removal flight operations managers, citing years of poor performance including delays that forced the carrier to trim its schedule this summer.

View Article
Report says airports face a long delay to global air traffic recovery

Airports, airlines, services companies, and travelers still have a long wait until global air traffic returns to normal. So far, the recovery has proven to be uneven by region, and…

View Article
https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/Network_Awards.jpeg
ATRAN Airlines becomes the winner of the Eurasian aviation marketing award 2021
View Article
US court approves extension of exclusivity deadline for submission of LATAM reorganization plan until Oct. 15

Today, the Court of the Southern District of New York’s judge approved the request for the extension of the exclusivity period to present LATAM’s Reorganization Plan until Oct. 15. As…

View Article