New Indian budget airline Akasa Air plans to launch its first commercial flight in June and is working to get all relevant licenses, Chief Executive Vinay Dube said.

Akasa Air, financed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, is poised to begin commercial operations in June, according to CEO Vinay Dube. Dube stated on Friday, during an interactive session on the sidelines of Wings India 2022, that the airline wants to have a fleet of 72 aircraft over the next five years.

“We hope to launch our first commercial flight in the month of June. We are working very closely with Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation) to get our licensing done,” he said replaying to query.

He also stated that the airline intends to have 18 aircraft on the ground as part of its fleet within 12 months of its inception, and then add 12 to 14 aircraft every year for the next five years, totaling 72 in five years.

“We are very excited and serve number of people with warmth and affection and kindness,” he further said.

To begin, Akasa Air will offer flights from metros to Tier II and III cities. The CEO previously stated that there would be flights from metros to metros to transfer the aircraft across the system.

Dube has stated that the airline plans to begin international flights in the second part of calendar year 2023 after it has 20 planes in its fleet.

The airlines received a no-objection certificate (NOC) for their operations from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in October.

“Akasa Air’s order includes two variants from the 737 MAX family, including 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,” Akasa had said in November in a statement.

Within the next five years, the airline expects to have a fleet of 72 aircraft. “We hope to have 18 aircraft on the ground in 12 months and 12-14 aircraft a year later,” Dube said on the sidelines of an event on Friday, according to PTI.

Boeing and Akasa Air announced in November last year that the new Indian carrier has bought 72 737 MAX jets to develop its fleet. The order, at over USD 9 billion at list prices, is a significant endorsement of the 737 family’s capacity to service the fast-increasing Indian market.