India’s Akasa Air orders 72 737 MAX planes; Akasa opts for LEAP-1B

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Vinay Dube, chief executive officer, Akasa Air, and Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive officer, after Akasa Air ordered (72) 737 MAX airplanes to build its fleet. (PHOTO: Boeing)

Boeing and Akasa Air, a brand of SNV Aviation, announced the new Indian carrier has ordered (72) 737 MAX airplanes to build its fleet. Valued at nearly US$9 billion at list prices, the order is an endorsement of the 737 family’s capability to serve the rapidly growing Indian market.

Akasa Air CEO Vinay Dube said, “We are delighted to partner with Boeing for our first airplane order and thank them for their trust and confidence in Akasa Air’s business plan and leadership team. We believe that 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 and greenest fleet in the Indian skies.” Dube added, “India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world with an unparalleled potential. We are already witnessing a strong recovery in air travel, and we see decades of growth ahead of us. Akasa Air’s core purpose is to help power India’s growth engine and democratise air travel by creating an inclusive environment for all Indians regardless of their socio-economic or cultural backgrounds.”

Akasa Air’s order includes two variants from the 737 MAX family, the 737-8 and the high-capacity 737-8-200. Providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience, the 737 MAX will ensure Akasa Air has a competitive edge in its dynamic home market.

“We are honoured that Akasa Air, an innovative airline focused on customer experience and environmental sustainability, has placed its trust in the 737 family to drive affordable passenger service in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation regions,” said Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO. “The 737 MAX, with its optimised performance, flexibility and capability, is the perfect airplane to establish Akasa Air in the Indian market and ensure it effectively grows its network.”

Akasa Air announced the purchase of CFM LEAP-1B engines to power its 737 MAX airplanes. The agreement, which also includes spare engines and long-term services agreement, is valued at nearly $4.5 billion U.S. at list prices.

“We are proud to develop a strong relationship with Akasa and play a key role in the launch of their operations by providing them with the industry-leading asset utilization, fuel efficiency, and overall cost of ownership,” said Philippe Couteaux, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CFM International. “On behalf of the entire team worldwide, it will be a great honor to help launch this new airline with the industry-leading support and reliability that has become a hallmark of CFM International.”

Since CFM delivered the first CFM56 engines in the early 1990s, the company has been developing a trustful relationship with major Indian airlines and playing a key role in Indian domestic market continuous growth. To date, nearly 600 engines are operated by airlines from the Indian subcontinent and more than 1,700 LEAP engines are on order.

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