Home / Industry / Infrastructure /  Akasa Air explores overnight parking slots for fleet in non-metro airports

Akasa Air, India’s youngest airline, is considering overnight parking options for its fleet in non-metro airports, an airline official said. It is operating five aircraft at present and parks its planes in Mumbai and Bengaluru airports.

“We are evaluating options to base our aircraft and looking at tier-2, tier-3 cities, we have announced flights to Guwahati and Agartala. Beyond that, we will explore opportunities to park our aircraft. It does not really matter to us whether it is tier-2, tier-3 or tier-4 cities. If we see potential, we will do what is right for the airline’s economic standpoint," he said.

Akasa operates 36 daily flights and is expected to increase the count to 44 by the end of October after the induction of one more aircraft. It will induct one plane every 15 days and expects to have a fleet of 20 aircraft by May 2023. The airline has ordered 72 Boeing 737-800 MAX planes, which will be delivered over five years.

The low-cost airline, of which late billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was a promoter, took to the skies on 7 August. it flies to Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Chennai, Agartala, and Guwahati.

“At the rate at which our aircraft are coming in, we need to work on economies of scale. The moment you get 7-8 aircraft you start getting benefits of the economies of scale," the official said. “The growth story is India and is not restricted to a particular city. It is always important that when an airline starts operations in any part of the world, it keeps long-term interests in mind especially at the rate we are adding aircraft," he said.

More and more airlines are looking at non-metro airports to park their fleet overnight as slots at metro airports are expensive and are limited, said industry experts.

This is particularly so with respect to metro cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, as parking slots there are very expensive and also because almost all the slots have been taken.

It is increasingly difficult to get space for night parking, an expert said. However, airlines want to park in metro cities as it leads to revenue generation opportunities as demand for early-morning flights from metro cities is far higher, he said.

Besides, following the coronavirus outbreak, several companies are aiming to open small offices in tier-2 and -3 cities and this is creating a roadmap for sustainable demand from these cities as well, he said.

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