India’s new startup Akasa Air is gradually advancing to bolster its presence in the country’s competitive aviation sector. One such recent advancement is launching new flights from Chennai, the carrier’s fifth city in the network. Only a month later after beginning its commercial operations on August 7, Akasa Air has marked yet another milestone with the maiden flight on the newly launched Chennai (MAA)-Bengaluru (BLR) route.
Inaugural flight service from Chennai
On September 10, Akasa Air inaugurated Chennai as its fifth destination by operating its maiden flight from the city. India’s newest carrier will operate two daily flights on the Chennai-Bengaluru route in both directions. Akasa has scheduled a morning and afternoon flight each way between Chennai and Bengaluru daily. With double daily flight services, the budget carrier will provide a weekly capacity exceeding 5000seats. The flight details are scheduled as:
QP1320: Depart Chennai at 10:15 and arrive in Bengaluru at 11:20
QP1319: Depart Bengaluru at 08:20 and arrive in Chennai at 9:35
QP136: Depart Chennai at 13:40 and arrive in Bengaluru at 14:35
QP1313: Depart Bengaluru at 12:00 and arrive in Chennai at 13:05
Starting September 26, Akasa Air offers an additional daily flight on the same route to bring more choice and affordable low fares to passengers flying to Bengaluru from Chennai. Customers from Chennai will now have increased travel options and a smoother way to visit Bengaluru and experience all the state capital has to offer. The additional service on the Chennai-Bengaluru route will commence at night, increasing the carrier’s weekly capacity to 7,938 seats.
Flight QP13010 will take off from Chennai at 21:15 and land in Bengaluru at 22:15 local time. Likewise, Akasa Air flight QP1307 operating on the BLR-MAA route, will have a departure time of 15:15 and an arrival time of 16:20 local time.
Two more cities to be added
In a bid for gradual route expansion, Akasa Air is strengthening its pan-India network connectivity by operating flights from Chennai to two new cities: Mumbai and Kochi, shortly. Beginning September 15, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed carrier will strengthen its network from Chennai by offering a single daily flight frequency to Mumbai (BOM). Mumbai, the financial capital of India, is also Akasa Air’s headquarters.
Effective September 15, Akasa Air Flight QP1305 performing MAA-BOM service will depart at 20:50 and arrive at the destination airport at 22:45. Similarly, another flight, QP1304, will fly on the BOM-MAA route with departure time scheduled at 18:10 and arrival time at 19:55. The single flight frequency in a day will amount to about 2,646 seating capacity offered by the airline in a week.
Akasa Air will further bolster its air connectivity from Chennai with the commencement of flight services to Kochi (COK), the city in southwest India’s coastal Kerala state. Initially, the Mumbai-headquartered airline will operate a once-daily flight on the Chennai-Kochi route, offering about 2,646 seats weekly on Boeing 737 aircraft. The carrier might upgrade the daily frequency depending on the profitability and popularity of the Chennai-Kochi route.
As per the published flight schedule, QP1308 will depart MAA at 17:00 and arrive at COK at 18:30 local time. Likewise, flight QP1309 flying from COK to MAA, will take off at 19:15 and land at 20:40.
The presence of Akasa Air in Chennai is crucial not only to the carrier and its passengers but also to Chennai International Airport, which has upped the facility’s position from the sixth busiest airport to the fifth. Akasa’s new flights from Chennai will allow the airport to handle more passenger traffic and aircraft movement, thereby increasing its revenue.
Augmenting the destination network
Akasa Air entered the field of Indian aviation over a month ago by operating its first revenue flight on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. Intending to edge out other competitors and grab a considerable share of the Indian market by offering affordable low fares, Akasa Air is pursuing a phased but rapid approach to grow its network across India with the rapid expansion of cities, routes, and frequencies. The low-cost carrier will add more locations in a phased manner, focusing on smaller tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Although the carrier’s initial flights connect large metro cities, its network strategy is to tap into less-crowded routes connecting large and smaller cities rather than usual metro-to-metro routes, which already see cut-throat competition.
The carrier touts a humble fleet of 4 Boeing 737Max 8 aircraft. It will continually fast-track the fleet growth and augment the destination network to establish a strong pan-India presence.