Investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air announced on Monday that it has ordered 72 Boeing 737 Max Airplanes. As per a statement issued by the aircraft manufacturer, the deal is valued at $9 billion. The order includes two variants of the 737 MAX line-up, namely, the 737-8 and the high capacity 737-8-200.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had given a no-objection certificate to Akasa for operating in India, last month. Akasa Air is expected to resume its operations as a low-cost carrier from summer next year.
Akasa Air becomes the second airline after Spicejet to add the 737 Max to its fleet. Spicejet in its quarterly results had stated that for technical reasons, thirteen of its Boeing 737 Max continue to be grounded. It added that settlement terms with two of MAX aircraft's major lessors Avolon and CDB Aviation had been finalised and similar discussions were underway with other lessors.
The company informed that it expected the 737 Max to resume operation from the third quarter of the current financial year.
The Indian Government had banned the 737 Max from flying in March 2019 after the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crash - both involving Boeing 737 Max. 346 people had lost their lives in the two crashes which took place within five months of unveiling the aircraft.
In August, this year, the aircraft was allowed to fly again. Directorate-General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) in its order had stated that more than 17 regulators had permitted the airplane to fly again. This was after Boeing undertook corrective measures after being grounded in several countries.