Akasa Air has sufficient pilots and will not have to cancel any flights in the summer schedule even after the new pilot duty time rule comes into effect, Chief Executive Officer Vinay Dube said on Thursday. “We have 24 aircraft and around 700 pilots now which is plenty not just for the current fleet but also for the aircraft that will be delivered later,” Dube said.

The airline will maintain a reliable schedule and there will be no flight cancellations, he added. The airline will also launch a cadet pilot training programme in future, he said. In the summer schedule, Akasa Air will have 14 per cent more departures compared to last winter, which is second highest among all airlines.

The new duty time rules for pilots come into effect from June 1 and these will enhance the rest period for pilots. Federation of Indian Airlines (an airline body comprising of Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet) had sought deferral in implementation of duty time rule but this was turned down by the government.

International flight

Akasa Air will operate its maiden international flight between Mumbai-Doha later this month and hopes to launch flights to multiple international destinations in summer schedule. Akasa Air has secured traffic rights to operate flights to Kuwait and Arabia. Dube said the airline is also keen to start flights to various South-East Asian countries.

Demand is strong on both domestic and international routes, he said. “We have capable planes and real ambitions of flying overseas,” Dube said and added that the airline plans to accomplish internationally in two years which other airlines couldn’t in a decade.