Akasa Air, the budget airline, has received the Civil Aviation Ministry’s nod to operate international flights.
“The proposal was examined in consultation with Civil Aviation Ministry and it has been decided with the approval of competent authority, to allow Akasa Air to mount international operations subject to their continued compliance,” with rules.
Meanwhile, in a staff email on Tuesday, the airline’s CEO Vinay Dube denied the airline is facing a shortage of pilots.
“As of today, we have enough pilots at various phases of their training to fly over 30 aircraft. We are poised to take delivery of additional aircraft in the remainder of this fiscal year and expand our domestic and international footprint. We also remain on track to announce a 3-digit aircraft order before the end of the year,” Dube said.
Dube said the airline has rationalised its network to ensure that it offers our customers the highest levels of operational reliability. “We have chosen to fly less and give up market share in the short term to offer a more reliable network to our customers. Please be assured though, that these are only short-term constraints,’‘ Dube said in his mail.
The airline added 20 aircraft in its first year of operations since inception last August. Over the year, it also captured 5 per cent market share surpassing SpiceJet.
However, a spat of resignation of 43 pilots within two months has led to a crisis.
In August, the low cost carrier lost the market share of over 1 per cent cancellations of multiple flights in August.
In response to this issue, Akasa has taken legal action by filing a case in the Bombay High Court against the pilots. They argue that the pilots’ resignations are not valid because they did not fulfill the contractual requirement of a six-month notice period.
Akasa has also filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court seeking penal action against 36 such pilots. The aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the respondent in the writ petition. The matter will now be heard on Friday.
The allocation of traffic rights is pending from the government, and subsequent approvals from the respective countries will be necessary. These flying rights are typically granted bilaterally by governments to airlines based on reciprocal agreements.