Aviation News

Willing to give up market share to ensure reliable ops: Akasa Air, ET Infra


Budget carrier Akasa Air in an internal memo told its employees that it is flying less and will give up market share in the short term to ensure it runs a reliable operation after some pilots quit the airline, news agency Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Akasa’s market share slipped to 4.2% in August from 5.2% a month earlier, according to latest available data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Shares of rival IndiGo, India’s largest airline, reversed course to trade 0.5% higher after the report on Akasa.

“When a small set of pilots abandoned their duties and left without serving their mandatory contractual notice period, it forced a disruption of flights between July and September, necessitating last minute cancellations,” Vinay Dube, CEO of Akasa Air said in the email seen by Reuters. The company said it has rationalised its network in last 30 days after some pilots quit the airline.

The carrier recently took legal action against a “small set of pilots” for leaving the airline without serving their notice period. “We have sought legal remedy only against a small set of pilots who abandoned their duties and left without serving their mandatory contractual notice period,” an Akasa Air spokesperson said in a statement.

“Not only is this illegal in law but also an unethical and selfish act that disrupted flights in August forcing last minute cancellations that stranded thousands of customers causing significant inconvenience to the travelling public,” it said.

The company in its memo said it is on track to announce new “three-digit” plane order before the end of the year. ET reported citing sources that the carrier got permission from the aviation regulator to fly on international routes. Sources said that the airline is likely to start international flights by December with first destinations in the Middle East countries.

The Aviation Ministry is working on Akasa’s request for traffic rights at various international destinations, the memo said.

The government is yet to allot traffic rights, following which it will have to gain approval from the respective countries. Flying rights are allocated on a bilateral reciprocal basis by the government to airlines of their country. Traffic rights have been fully utilised on major India-Middle routes like Dubai, Doha.

  • Published On Sep 20, 2023 at 02:55 PM IST

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