Akasa Air’s Inaugural Flight Sold Out Amid Strong Bookings

India’s startup airline is off to a good start, generating enough interest from potential customers for good first-week bookings. The airline will take the plunge on August 7th, entering into the highly competitive Indian aviation sector, competing with established players such as IndiGo.

Good response

Akasa Air seems to have piqued the interest of many customers who are willing to give the airline a try for their upcoming travel plans. A quick scan of its official website reveals that only one of two flights (with a 14:05 departure time) between Mumbai and Ahmedabad on August 7th is available for booking. The inaugural flight, which departs at 10:05 in the morning, is completely booked.

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A person familiar with the matter told Business Line,

“The bookings are in full swing, the airline is extremely happy at the pace at which it is going. It is aiming for over 70% of the flights to be full in the inaugural week.”

Indeed, if Akasa can sustain enough buzz, it could achieve decent load factors for its first few days of flying.

The airline’s inaugural flight is sold out. Photo: Akasa Air

Akasa’s first flight being sold out is not entirely surprising, given its marketing campaign of providing a different product, an uptick in travel, and a general curiosity among the flying public to try a different airline. We won’t be surprised if the first few flights are also taken by general aviation enthusiasts and aviation vloggers, given the hype Akasa has generated over the last few months.

Delhi to feature on the network soon

Akasa has shared its initial routes, which feature Mumbai, Ahemdabad, Bengaluru, and Kochi, in its first month of operations. However, India’s largest airport Delhi has so far not been included. But that could soon change as another source has revealed that the carrier will “very soon” launch flights on the highly competitive and busy Mumbai-Delhi sector.

Sources reveal that Delhi will soon feature on Akasa’s network. Photo: Akasa Air

It looks like the airline is establishing its presence in primarily big cities as of now and will start deploying planes to tier-2 and 3 towns once it settles down on these key routes.

Of course, it is also waiting for more planes to join its fleet as the two Boeing 737 MAX planes currently can only take on so much. But all that should change once it starts receiving 2 planes a month in the coming weeks.

Will the momentum continue?

It’s interesting to note that Akasa’s initial bookings are purely based on the promises it has made and also a general curiosity among people to try out a new airline operating at such a scale for the first time in years. The last big airline to launch in India was Vistara.

But once the novelty wears off, Akasa will have to rely on efficiency, service, and competitive fares to have any reasonable chance of sustaining profitable operations. Other Indian carriers are already watching Akasa’s every move, and some have even implemented changes to schedules and fares in response to the carrier’s launch.

It’s good to see the initial reaction to Akasa’s launch, but for a clearer picture, we’ll have to wait a few more months.

Are you looking forward to trying out India’s newest airline? Please let us know in the comment section below.

Source: BusinessLine

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