Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is planning on having 70 aircraft within four years for a new airline he wants to set up.
Jhunjhunwala, who is considered to be investing 35 dollar million and would own 40% of the carrier, is expected to get a no-objection certificate from the aviation ministry in the next 15 days, he said in an interview on wednesday.
The ultra low cost airline will be called Akasa Air and the team, which includes a former senior executive of Delta Air Lines Inc is looking at planes that can carry 180 passengers, he said.
Its a bold bet by Jhunjhunwala, who’s known locally as India’s Warren Buffett, in a market that has seen some airlines collapse in the face of intense fare wars and high costs.
Still, what was once the world’s fastest -growing aviation market holds an allure and Jhunjhunwala is looking at opportunities to woo flyers with a brand new carrier offering low fares.
All of these facts, however, do not prevent Jhunjhunwala from investing in the aviation industry, as he is well-versed in the reality of doing business in this area. “I believe some of the increment players will not recover,” he remarked, but he praised his partners, saying, “I have some of the best airline people in the world as my partners.”
Jhunjhunwala is investing $35 million in Akasa and expects the Aviation Ministry to provide a no-objection certificate (NOC) soon. A fleet of 70 planes is planned. The new arrival into India’s aviation sector comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant influence on the industry.