Indian aviation looks for fair weather to fly high post 2022
India resumed scheduled domestic flights on May 15, 2020, after a two-month lockdown, airlines were permitted to operate just 33 per cent of their pre-Covid domestic services.
India resumed scheduled domestic flights on May 15, 2020, after a two-month lockdown, airlines were permitted to operate just 33 per cent of their pre-Covid domestic services. This cap has been gradually increased and stands at 72.5 per cent currently. According to Indigo there are at least three new potential entrants. One is the new Air India, which could be a formidable competitor if Tata's pilot the airline for they will have Air India, Vistara, AirAsia India all in one.
Akasa will be an intense competitor. Jet Airways will restart domestic operations by the first quarter of 2022 and short-haul international flights by the last quarter of the next year, according to Jalan Kalrock Consortium, the winning bidder for the grounded airline.
Akasa Air – is backed by a seasoned investor billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. The ace investor will hold a 40 per cent stake in the airline after pumping in $35 million. The airline is being launched by former CEO of Jet Airways and GoFirst, Vinay Dube, and IndiGo chief Aditya Ghosh will also be a stakeholder in the company and serve as a board member. Former IndiGo treasury head Ankur Goel is its Chief Commercial Officer. Akasa crossed its first hurdle after receiving an NOC from Indian aviation authorities in August and is currently in talks with Boeing for a potential order of 70 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. IndiGo and SpiceJet are expected to put up a tough fight to retain market shares, airport slots, and key routes. The airline's position as an ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) will probably set it apart from the rest, but we'll have to wait and see if that translates into profits.
While Jet 2.0 will be a full-service carrier, it'll be a much smaller airline compared to its former self. GoFirst has also had to rebrand itself to keep itself alive in the competition. Vistara is also on track with its international expansion to the US once it receives more Dreamliners. The entry of Jet Airways and Akasa will only add to the dynamics of the sector.
Whenever Jet Airways starts operations again, it will be a much smaller airline initially. While the new owners will most probably go for the Boeing 737, it remains to be seen if they will opt for the MAX variant.
SpiceJet is the only airline in the country that has 13 MAX series planes in its fleet . The LCC has firm orders of 155 MAXs with options for up to 50 more. Indian startup carrier Akasa is also in talks with Boeing for a potential order of 70-100 MAX 8s. Indian Aviation can now look forward to flying high post 2022.