File image dated Tuesday, Oct 5, 2021, of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala during a brief meeting, in New Delhi | Photo: PTI
Mumbai: Startup carrier Akasa Air on Thursday said it has received the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from aviation regulator DGCA and will start commercial operations later this month.
Akasa Air, which is backed by ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, will join the likes of IndiGo, Air India, Air India Express, Vistara, AirAsia India, SpiceJet and Go First.
The grant of AOC marks the satisfactory completion of all regulatory and compliance requirements for the airline's operational readiness, Akasa Air said in a statement.
The process concluded with the airline having successfully conducted a number of proving flights under the supervision of the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), it added.
The airline had taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 Max aircraft in India on June 21.
"We are thankful to the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA for their constructive guidance, active support and the highest levels of efficiency throughout the AOC process. We now look forward to opening our flights for sale, leading to the start of commercial operations by late July," Vinay Dube, Founder-Chief Executive Officer of Akasa Air, said.
Following the Centre's initiative to usher in a new era of digitisation, Akasa Air is the first airline whose end-to-end AOC process was conducted using the government's progressive eGCA digital platform, the airline said.
According to the airline, it will commence commercial operations later this month with two aircraft and subsequently add planes to its fleet every month.
By the end of the fiscal year 2022-23, the airline will have 18 aircraft and thereafter, will add 12-14 aircraft every 12 months. This will make up its order of 72 aircraft to be delivered over a period of five years, it said.
Last November, Akasa Air announced ordering 72 '737 Max' aircraft from Boeing. The order includes two variants from the 737 Max family -- 737-8 and 737-8-200.