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India has incredibly affordable airfares: Vinay Dube

India has “incredibly affordable” airfares and the country’s aviation market has the kind of growth potential where Akasa Air as well as other carriers can do well, according to the nearly two-year-old airline’s Chief Vinay Dube.
As Akasa Air prepares to take the international skies on March 28 with the first overseas flight from Mumbai to Doha, Dube also asserted that the airline is not about “marketing gimmicks”. Akasa Air is aiming to be among the world’s top 30 airlines by 2030 and will go public in future.

“We think we have a great financial future. Listing is in our future… but you never say never. We hope to list some day,” he told PTI in an interview this week.

While acknowledging that aviation competition has always been intense, he said that as long as the focus is on fundamentals, there is enough room not just for Akasa Air to thrive in the future but for others as well.
“Thanks to the growth that we are going to see in India, it is not that Akasa will do well only if someone else does badly, no, Akasa can do well and others can do well, that is the kind of growth that India has to offer,” the airline’s Founder and CEO said.

The carrier, which started flying in August 2022, has a fleet of 24 planes and a domestic market share of 4.5 per cent.

To a query about air ticket prices, Dube said the country has some of the cheapest airfares.

India, which is one of the world’s fastest-growing civil aviation markets, is also seen in some quarters as price sensitive, especially with rising number of air travellers, including first-time fliers. There have been concerns, mainly during festival seasons, that air ticket prices are high.

“I see fares to be some of the cheapest in the world as I saw them three months ago, six months ago… I think Indian airfares when you compare them to parts of Europe, East Asia, North America, you compare to any decent-sized aviation economy in the world, India has some of the most affordable airfares by a long margin, not just by Rs 10 or 100… Indian airfares are incredibly affordable,” Dube said.

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