Rakesh Jhunjhunwala ropes in avation veterans to float new airline
30 July 2021
Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is reported to have roped in former president of Indigo Airlines and former Jet Airways boss Vinay Dube for launching a budget airline with a fleet of 70 aircraft.
The proposed airline, to be called Akasa Air, hopes to have its full fleet over the next four years, say reports.
Jhunjhunwala plans to invest $35 million (around Rs 260 crore) in the new venture and hold 40 per cent share in the airline. Former IndiGo chief Ghosh will hold less than 10 per cent stake in the ultra-low cost carrier and will be a board member while aviation veteran and former Jet Airways boss Vinay Dube will own over 15 per cent as co-founder and be the airline's CEO.
Ghosh joined the Gurugram-headquartered IndiGo Airlines in 2008, and by the time he stepped down it had grown into the country’s biggest airline by market share, with a fleet of 160 aircraft, more than a thousand daily flights and a market share of Rs55,000 crore.
Ghosh quit InterGlobe Aviation, the parent company of the country's largest airline IndiGo, in 2018 after a 10-year tenure as its president and whole time director.
A CNBC-TV 18 report said the investor has already approached the aviation ministry for a no-objection certificate (NoC).
Jhunjhunwala’s move into aviation comes at a time when the aviation industry is adversely impacted by the curbs on travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. Airlines across the world have been beset with financial uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, IndiGo posted a net loss of Rs3,174 crore for the quarter ended June 2021, due to a sharp drop in revenues amid the second wave of the pandemic. The airline incurred a net loss of Rs2,844 crore in the year-ago period.