Low-cost airline Akasa Air placed an order for 72 Boeing 737 MAX jets, a move that might help the US plane maker regain lost ground in one of the world’s most promising markets.
The orders by Akasa, which is backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, are incremental orders, a Boeing executive said on Tuesday.
Last month, SNV Aviation, which owns Akasa Air, said it expected to start flying next year after getting initial clearance from the civil aviation ministry to launch the country’s latest ultra-low-cost carrier.
Reuters reported in September that Boeing was close to winning an order for some 70 to 100 737 MAX jets from Akasa, pending separate talks on a long-term engine service deal.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in August allowed the country’s airlines to fly the MAX jet to end its nearly two-and-a-half-years of regulatory grounding.
The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after two fatal crashes in five months killed 346 people, plunging Boeing into a financial crisis, which has since been compounded by the COVID-19 outbreak.