Akasa Air, India’s newest low-cost airline, is rapidly covering the entire country, with its latest flights to Guwahati and Agartala in northeastern India. The airline has seen steady growth in just over two months of operations and has captured nearly 1% of India’s domestic market share.
On October 21, Akasa Air began connecting Bengaluru (BLR) in southern India to Agartala (IXA) via Guwahati (GAU) in the northeast. The airline announced GAU and IXA as its newest destinations last month, with Guwahati being the gateway to Assam and Agartala as one of the fastest growing cities in the region.
Flight QP1323 has a scheduled departure time of 09:20 from Bengaluru, arriving in Guwahati at 12:25. After a short layover, it departs for Agartala at 13:00 with an arrival time of 13:55.
The Chief Minister of Tripura, Manek Saha, was at the Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport in Agartala to mark the occasion along with the Minister of Agriculture, Farmers Welfare, Tourism and Transport, Pranajit Singa Roy, and the Director of the Airport Kailash Chander Meena.
The airline also boosted its Bengaluru Chennai (MAA) network yesterday by adding a fifth frequency between this route. Akasa now flies to eight destinations in the country.
growth so far
Akasa Air commenced operations on August 7 with its inaugural flight between Mumbai (BOM) and Ahmedabad (AMD). Flights between Bengaluru and Kochi (COK) were soon launched, and in the following weeks, several more cities were added, including Chennai and Delhi (DEL).
The airline plans to focus more on non-metro cities and is also considering laying down some of its planes overnight at some of the city’s Level 2 and 3 airports it serves.
In August, it carried 24,000 passengers with a market share of 0.2% and a load factor of close to 53%. Its post-flight data for the entire month of September shows it captured nearly 1% of the market share, carrying 93,000 passengers with a load factor of 81.2%.
Akasa will also allow pets to fly on its planes from November 1 and will become the second passenger airline in the country to offer this service after Air India.
Photo: Akasa Air
Demand is growing in the Northeast
Akasa’s decision to travel to North East India makes strategic sense as it is considered one of the fastest growing areas of air travel. According to an analysis by Mint, aircraft traffic in this part of the country indicates that the growth here is much greater than in other parts of India.
The report states that aircraft traffic (calculated as landings and takeoffs) in the northeast increased 36% to 7,973 flights from August 2017 to August 2022 and was higher than growth rates in other parts of the country. In the northern and southern region, it was 5%, 14% in the east and only 0.5% in the west.
Akasa aims to have 18 aircraft by March next year, and with capacity gradually increasing over the next few months, we can expect more non-metro destinations to join its growing network.
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