India’s low-cost carrier Akasa Air has placed an order for 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to solidify its position as a major player in the rapidly growing Indian aviation market.

Akasa Air.(Reuters / File)

The order was announced at the “Wings India” air show in Hyderabad, which has attracted planemakers, airlines and government representatives.

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The new order is part of Akasa’s plan to fuel its domestic and international expansion. The narrow-body Boeing aircraft ordered are equipped to fly to nearby foreign destinations including Southeast Asia and the Middle East from India.

This is also the first major order announcement for Boeing’s troubled MAX jetliner programme since a mid-air cabin panel blowout this month. However, the order doesn’t include the Max 9 variant involved in the incident, reported Bloomberg.

“Akasa currently has a fleet of 76 aircraft. The latest order, comprising of 737 MAX 10 and 737 MAX 8-200 jets will provide the airline a steady aircraft delivery stream through 2032, cementing the company’s domestic and international expansion plans,” the airline said.

Akasa’s total order book now stands at 226 aircraft, bolstering its domestic and international expansion plans, according to the statement.

Akasa Air, backed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s family, happens to be India’s newest airline and has a market share of four per cent since it started its operations in 2022.

IndiGo has a market share of 60 per cent while the Tata Group’s airlines have a combined market share of 26 per cent.

The carrier, founded by former Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube, aims to capitalise on the rising demand for air travel in the country and position itself as a key player in the low-cost segment.

Akasa currently flies to 18 cities across India, including the busiest Mumbai-New Delhi route, and plans to expand its network to the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

(With inputs from agencies)

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