Akasa Air, the homegrown airline backed by the late investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, has achieved a remarkable milestone by becoming the fastest airline in India to launch international flights. The company’s inaugural international destination is Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Vinay Dube, Founder and CEO of Akasa Air, expressed his delight, stating, “We are thrilled to announce the commencement of our international operations with the launch of our first destination – Doha, as part of our expanding network.”

Scheduled to commence from March 28, 2024, Akasa Air’s maiden international flights mark a significant achievement, as it becomes the first Indian airline to achieve this milestone within a mere 19 months of its inception.

The airline will operate four non-stop flights every week, linking Mumbai with Doha and enhancing air connectivity between Qatar and India. Passengers can conveniently book their tickets through the official website, mobile application, or any online travel agency. The return flight fares start at Rs 29,012, according to the company’s statement.

Dube emphasized that the introduction of four weekly flights connecting Mumbai directly with Doha will cater to a diverse range of travelers from both countries, fostering tourism, commerce, and strengthening bilateral ties.

The launch of operations in Qatar signifies the airline’s strategic growth trajectory aimed at expanding its global operations while offering affordable fares, as per the company’s statement.

Highlighting the significance of Doha as the capital city and commercial hub of Qatar, known for its rich cultural heritage, the company underscored its importance in attracting business, spiritual, and leisure travelers from India year-round. The introduction of more direct and convenient travel options is expected to stimulate trade and tourism, the company noted.

Dube further added, “Driven by our mission to connect people, places, and cultures, we remain committed to expanding our global footprint in the months ahead. We are confident that travelers will enjoy the distinctive Akasa experience, positioning us as the preferred carrier on this route.”

The launch of operations in Qatar aligns with Qatar’s Tourism Strategy 2030, aimed at positioning the country as the fastest-growing tourism destination in the Middle East by 2030.

Akasa Air has placed a firm order for 226 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, equipped with CFM fuel-efficient LEAP-1B engines. Currently operating 23 737 MAX aircraft, the airline prioritizes superior efficiency in fuel use and carbon emissions reduction.

Notably, Akasa Air is the first airline to venture abroad under the government’s relaxed 0/20 norm regarding fleet size, signaling a significant milestone in its journey.