Indian start-up Akasa Air on Tuesday kick-started the development of its fleet with a $9 billion order for 72 Boeing 737 Max narrowbodies. In a November 16 announcement at the Dubai Airshow, the new operator said it will take an unspecified mix of the 737-8 and the higher-capacity 737-8-200 model as it prepares to launch services in the summer of 2022.
According to Akasa Air CEO Vinay Dube, the Indian air transport sector is recovering strongly from the Covid pandemic. He claimed the airline will democratize air travel, “by creating an inclusive environment for all Indians regardless of their socio-economic or cultural backgrounds."
Dube thanked Boeing for its trust and confidence in the new carrier’s business plan and leadership team. “We believe the new 737 Max airplane will support our aim of running not just a cost-efficient, reliable, and affordable airline, but also an environmentally friendly company with the youngest greenest fleet in the Indian skies,” he commented.
Meanwhile, Air Tanzania was confirmed as a customer for a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, a 767-300 freighter, and a pair of 737 Max narrowbodies already logged in the U.S. manufacturer’s backlog. The East African carrier, which already operates the 787, said it will use the new additions to its fleet to launch new routes across Africa, Asia, and Europe.
“Africa is the third fastest-growing region worldwide for air travel and Air Tanzania is well-positioned to increase connectivity and expand tourism throughout Tanzania,” said Ihassane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing.
According to Boeing’s 2021 Commercial Market Outlook, over the next 20 years, the South Asian air transport market will need 2,200 new aircraft valued at nearly $320 billion. For Africa, the airframer’s economists forecast that through 2040 airlines will need 1,030 new airplanes with a value of around $160 billion.