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    Rakesh Jhunjhunwala investing $50 million in Akasa Air, says he's got a game plan for aviation sector

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    Rakesh Jhunjhunwala investing $50 million in Akasa Air, says he's got a game plan for aviation sector

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    Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Jhunjhunwala said, "I think I have got a business plan and Ryan Air was profitable from day 1 when 10 European national airlines closed down. So we have a game plan."

    Stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala on Thursday said he is investing $50 million in the new airline Akasa Air and got a game plan for the Indian aviation sector.
    Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Jhunjhunwala said, "I think I have got a business plan and Ryan Air was profitable from day 1 when 10 European national airlines closed down. So we have a game plan."
    "I was telling Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran that you are investing Rs 18,000 crore in Air India and we are investing $50 million in Akasa Air, hope I am not living in a pipe dream," he said.
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    Backed by aviation veterans Vinay Dube and Aditya Ghosh, Akasa Air, had in October last year got the no-objection certificate from the ministry of civil aviation to operate commercial flights.
    The airline is preparing to start flying in June this year and plans to operate approximately 70 planes in the next four years. Airbus is in conversation with Akasa for an aircraft procurement deal, Airbus’ chief commercial officer Christian Scherer said.
    Akasa has been in discussions with US plane manufacturer Boeing to procure its B737 Max planes, multiple media reports had said two months back. Airbus’ A320 series of aircraft competes with Boeing’s B737 series of planes in the aviation market.
    To begin with, Akasa Air will have services from metros to Tier II and III cities. There will also be flights from metros to metros so that the aircraft is moved around the system, CEO Vinay Dube said.
    "We hope to get our first aircraft in the second half of April, the first commercial flight in late May or early June... we are working with the government, DGCA to go through all of the requirements that are there," Dube said.
    Dube, who is also the founder and managing director, said the airline has started hiring people, setting up technology, creating processes and procedures, defining things related to customer value and proposition and planning route networks with airports. Currently, the carrier has more than 50 staff.
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