Dube: You have to wait until the schedule is published. We are still targeting an end of July start. We want to start selling in the next few days. As we have maintained, the bread and butter for us is going to be the metro to non-metro routes. This is where we think we can focus on in the longer term.
Ghosh: What has happened is that as the world comes out of the pandemic, the affordable segment of the market sees the maximum opportunity and the maximum growth. People still want to travel. But they want to travel at a more affordable price because they want to conserve cash. So yes, in some ways, it looks like a very challenging time. But it also is a time which has the maximum opportunity for a new guy to start.
How will Akasa scale up its market share?
Dube: First, I will say we’re not after market share. The second thing: we are fortunate to be launching an airline in what is, or any day will be, the world’s third largest aviation market, and one of the fastest growing. Indian carriers are getting 1,000 new aircraft in the next 10 to 20 years, and so for Akasa to have 72 of those 1,000-plus new aircraft that are coming, explains the potential. We need to have satisfied employees…satisfied customers. It’s also important to have a competitive cost structure and industry-best management team. We will be able to carve out a spot for Akasa, not just for one-five years, but for your grandchildren to travel in it.
Akasa has big plans on sustainability…
Dube: Sustainability is a subject that is personal to Aditya and me. We cannot be associated with a business that is not doing the best that they can. Flying planes, with engines that spew stuff is obviously not good for the environment. We also can’t stop progress completely. So, at Akasa, it starts with getting the world’s most fuel-efficient engines. We have announced the use of recycled material in our uniforms. It’s something you will see us doing at every step of the way. Our goal is to be the most environmentally progressive airline in the world.