The Ministry of Finance has recognised Akasa Air as a ‘designated Indian carrier’, facilitating the carrier’s international flights.

‘In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (5) of section 5 of the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, the Central Government hereby specifies SNV Aviation Private Limited (Akasa Air) having its registered office at 12th Floor, Urmi Estate, 95 Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel (West), Mumbai, Maharashtra- 400013 as ‘designated Indian carrier’ for the purpose of the said sub-section,” the ministry said in a notification.

The mentioned sub-section in the law says if any designated Indian carrier purchases aviation turbine fuel for its international flight, such purchase will be deemed to take place in the course of the export of goods out of the territory of India. In other words, no tax to be payable on fuel for international flights to ensure no tax is exported.

Last week, Akasa Air announced international operations with the addition of Doha, capital of Qatar, as the first international destination to its rapidly expanding network. Starting 28 March 2024, Akasa Air will operate four non-stop flights a week, connecting Mumbai with Doha.

According to Akasa Air, it has become the first Indian airline to fly overseas in a record period of 19 months since inception.

Also read: We are back in the growth mode: Akasa Air CEO Vinay Dube

“It may be noted that Doha is considered one of the key economic engines of West Asia and is also known for its cultural heritage. The city invites a blend of business, spiritual and leisure travellers from India throughout the year. The introduction of an increasing number of direct and convenient travel options will foster trade and tourism,” the airline added.

Commenting on the announcement, Vinay Dube, Founder and CEO, Akasa Air said, “The introduction of four flights a week, connecting directly with Mumbai, a key Indian commercial hub, will cater to a diverse set of travellers from the two countries, facilitating tourism, commerce and strengthening bilateral ties.”

He further said that foray into Qatar marks the next phase of growth as the airline continues its journey towards becoming one of the world’s top 30 airlines by the turn of this decade.

Since its launch in August 2022, Akasa Air has served over 77 lakh passengers, connecting 21 cities, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Guwahati, Agartala, Pune, Lucknow, Goa, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bagdogra, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Port Blair, Ayodhya, Gwalior and Srinagar.

The airline has 22 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Besides Qatar, it has been granted traffic rights to fly to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.