Jhunjhunwala's demise won't affect Akasa airline's funding

Wednesday 24th August 2022 06:21 EDT

Akasa Air, the startup budget airline launched in India on August 7 with late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala as its biggest investor, has said it remains “well-capitalised” and will induct the ordered 72 aircraft over the next five years. It will also place a “significantly larger” aircraft order in the next 18 months, Akasa founder-CEO Vinay Dube said. The airline inducted its third Boeing 737 MAX recently.

Industry insiders say the Jhunjhunwala family holds about 47% stake in Akasa, followed by nearly 30% with founder-CEO Vinay Dube & family, and the rest with other investors and staff. The biggest investor’s demise was being seen as a setback to the newborn startup. Akasa has sought to allay concerns about its funding.

“We will continue to grow our fleet by adding one new aircraft every two weeks…. we at Akasa Air continue to mourn the passing of Jhunjhunwala… this is a deep personal loss. Thanks in no small part to Jhunjhunwala, Akasa is a well-capitalised airline with the financial means to induct 72 aircraft over the next five years. In fact, our financial platform is strong enough to allow Akasa to place an aircraft order in the next 18 months that will be significantly larger than our first. In simple terms, our growth is secure,” Dube said.

“We are also thankful that Jhunjhunwala supported us in recruiting some of the best aviation talent in the country. He wanted us to have a top-notch leadership team that made all day-to-day decisions at the airline without having to fall back on him or any other investor. Anyone that saw him on our inaugural flight on August 7 knows how proud he was of each Akasa employee and partner. On our part, we couldn’t be prouder and more fortunate to have known him,” Dube added. “He was a true believer in India’s potential,” Dube further added.

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