India’s newest airline Akasa Air has placed an order for 150 Boeing 737 MAX jets, the airline said on Thursday, in a rare relief for the US aircraft maker that has been reeling from a spate of setbacks since the beginning of the New Year.
Akasa Air’s order is the first big deal announcement for Boeing weeks after a mid-air emergency in which the door plug of a 737 Max 9 plane came off, triggering a global grounding of some Boeing planes.
Adding to the string of groundings, US secretary of state Antony Blinken was delayed on his return to the US from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday following a malfunction with his Boeing aircraft.
Akasa’s order, which was announced at the Wings India 2024 event in Hyderabad, does not include the 737 Max 9 model, which is in the spotlight after the incident.
The Wings India event, themed ‘Connecting India with the World in Amritkal’, is being organized jointly by the ministry of civil aviation and industry lobby Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
“Delighted to announce our landmark order of 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at @WingsIndia2024 today! This milestone makes us the first Indian airline in the history of civil aviation to reach a firm order book of 200+ aircraft within 17 months of operations,” Akasa Air posted on X (formerly Twitter).
“We are extremely confident about Akasa’s financial stability and growth potential, but what we are most proud of is what Akasa and its employees have been able to achieve in terms of reliability and service excellence while pursuing the highest standards of safety in global aviation,” Akasa founder and chief executive Vinay Dube said.
“We are excited to announce this historic order for 150 new Boeing airplanes, increasing our total orders from Boeing to 226 jets,” he added.
“This milestone demonstrates the strength of our partnership with Akasa Air and is a testament to the capabilities of the 737 MAX family to further the airline’s operational priorities,” Boeing chief operating officer Stephanie Pope said in the statement.
“The efficiency and versatility of the 737-10 and 737-8-200 will support Akasa Air’s expansion to meet soaring demand for air travel in the region for many years to come,” Pope added.
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