Despite the country's deepening Covid crisis, Indian billionaire wants to establish a new airline

MUMBAI, INDIAIndian businessman and investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is planning to establish a new airline and acquire 70 aircraft over the next four years.



Jhunjhunwala, who expects the demand for air travel in India will rise after the pandemic, considers investing $35 million and owning 40 percent of the new carrier.

The ultra-low-cost airline will be called Akasa Air, and the company, which includes a former senior executive of Delta Air Lines, is looking at planes that can carry 180 passengers.

Even before the pandemic, India's airline industry was suffering huge losses. The situation worsened with the pandemic. Vistara, which Singapore Airlines Ltd. jointly owns with conglomerate Tata Group, is in discussions with Boeing Co. and Airbus SE to delay aircraft deliveries and make changes to the payment timetables.

IndiGo, India’s largest airline, reported a wider-than-anticipated loss as Covid disruption crimped its revenue.
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