Akasa: Akasa wants to be nimble, efficient rather than have a label: CEO Vinay Dube

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NEW DELHI: Flying in the Indian skies for more than seven months now, Akasa Air wants to be nimble and efficient rather than have a label, which will sometimes pigeonhole the airline into doing and not doing certain things, according to its founder Vinay Dube.
At the same time, he said that people have started using the words like “warm, empathetic and kind” for the onboard experience and those are exactly the kind of words that we would like to be associated with the Akasa experience.
With 19 aircraft in its fleet and operating 110 daily flights, the carrier is in its early stages but does not want to be labelled as a startup or as a budget carrier.
By the end of this year, the airline plans to start international operations and place a “three-digit order” for aircraft.
In an interview with PTI, Dube said the airline is in its early stages, but “if someone has got 19 aircraft, is that a startup or is that not a startup?”
“Again, I am not great with labels, and even with people, I just don’t like labels… I don’t want to put labels on myself, certainly not on my company. Then, it tends to constrain the thinking,” he said.
The comments from Dube, also the airline’s CEO, came in response to a query on how the airline should be described as.
While emphasising that Akasa Air is neither looking at market share targets nor chasing any position in aviation, he said the target is to make customers and employees happy.
“That is what we are doing and we can do that, that is sustainable if we have got a very strong cost structure. So, those are the three pillars we are focusing on,” he noted.
Describing Akasa Air’s journey so far as “exciting”, Dube also said the airline wants to be nimble and efficient.
Again, if you label yourself as a startup, then everyone (will) say, let’s create our employee policies when we are bigger. No, we are creating employee policies right now. These labels sometimes pigeonhole you into doing and not doing things I just don’t like, and I don’t think it is healthy,” he said.
Currently, the airline has more than 2,000 employees and the number is expected to cross 3,000 by the end of March 2024.
“In the last seven months, our onboard experience has also been really well received. I think people have started using words like warm, empathetic, and kind, which is exactly the kind of words that we would like to be associated with the Akasa experience,” he added.
In February, Akasa Air carried 3.61 lakh passengers, and its market share was 3 per cent.

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