Curated By: Business Desk
Last Updated: September 21, 2023, 12:09 IST
Mumbai-based budget carrier Akasa Air secured permission to fly on international routes from the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The ministry has designated Akasa Air as an ‘International Scheduled Operator.’ The Civil Aviation Ministry is currently allocating traffic rights following which, the airline will approach the DGCA for further procedures and permissions.
These traffic rights are granted on a reciprocal basis between governments and their designated airlines, the report said by ET.
According to sources, the airline is likely to start international flights by December, with its first destinations being the Middle East countries. Notably, established routes between India and Middle East hubs like Dubai and Doha are already fully utilised and airlines cannot operate more than the allotted ones.
This development marks a significant milestone for the cheaper Indian airline, allowing the carrier to expand its horizons into potentially more profitable international routes which offer less competition. The longer routes also enhance the efficiency of the airline’s aircraft utilisation.
It is worth noting that in the last three months, the airline had a mass flight cancellation as more than 40 pilots walked out to join its rival Tata-led Air India Express. The airline has taken 43 pilots to court for leaving the company without serving a mandatory six-month notice period which has impacted the airline’s operations.
The airline sources said that the pilots’ exit can lead to cancellations that have gone beyond estimates and could lead to halting of operations altogether if the situation continues. The pilots resigned after Akasa Air changed their salary structure.
In its petition, the airline has sought monetary compensation of Rs 21 crore which also includes the cost of training one pilot. Meanwhile, the pilots who quit the company claimed that the airline violated the contractual agreement by altering the salary structure. In June, the airline reduced the fees from 10,000 to Rs 7,500 for per hour flown beyond the monthly quota of 40 hours.