Akasa Air, the youngest low cost airline in the country, today announced an order for 150 Boeing 737 Max aircraft to support its next phase of growth.

The deal is valued at $20 billion at list prices and the aircraft will be delivered between 2027-2032. The transaction, which was negotiated for several months, was formally announced in the presence of civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia at the Wings India event in Hyderabad.

Akasa Air began operations in August 2022 and has 22 aircraft in service now. These are part of its initial order for 76 aircraft which will be delivered by 2027.

The latest order comprises of 737 Max-8 and 737 Max-10 variants. The Max 10 variant can seat between 180 to 230 passengers and is yet to be certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration. Air India too has selected the 737 Max 10 variant as a part of its mega aircraft order.

Akasa Air said with its latest order it became the only Indian airline in the history of civil aviation to reach an order book of over 200 aircraft within 17 months of commencing operations. This landmark aircraft order is a testimony to the airline’s solid financial foundation and showcases Boeing’s confidence in Akasa Air’s future, it said.

“This large and historic aircraft order puts Akasa on a path of becoming one of the top 30 leading airlines in the world, by the turn of this decade. Akasa’s remarkable growth testifies the sheer promise that India holds as an aviation market, and we are thrilled to be a part of this journey,” the airline’s chief executive officer Vinay Dube said.

Dube added the airline has the flexibility to decide the number of aircraft it will take in each of the two variants and is yet to take a call. The airline also has time to decide on financing the aircraft purchase though most airlines opt for a sale and leaseback model for the same.

Akasa Air, which is backed by the family of the late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, took to the skies in August 2022. In 2023, it flew 6.2 million passengers and commanded a market share of 4.1 per cent.

In 2021, Akasa Air placed its initial order of 72 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which was followed up with an order of 4 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in June 2023. This new deal in January 2024, takes the airline’s order book to an impressive total of 226 aircraft.