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Rakesh Jhunjhunwala to start ultra-low cost airline Akasa Air

Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is planning on having 70 aircraft within four years for a new airline he wants to set up in India on optimism more people will travel by air.

Jhunjhunwala, who is considering investing $35 million and would own 40% of the carrier, expects to get a no-objection certificate from India’s aviation ministry in the next 15 days, he said in a Television interview. The ultra-low cost airline will be called Akasa Air and the team, which which includes a former senior executive of Delta Air Lines Inc., is looking at planes that can carry 180 passengers, he said..

It’s a bold bet by Jhunjhunwala, who’s known locally as India’s Warren Buffett, in a market that has seen some airlines collapse in the face of intense fare wars and high costs. Still, what was once the world’s fastest-growing aviation market holds an allure and Jhunjhunwala is looking at opportunities to woo flyers with a brand new carrier offering low fares.

“For the culture of a company to be frugal you’ve to start off fresh,” Jhunjhunwala said. “I’m very, very bullish on India’s aviation sector in terms of demand.” (Source ET)

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