MUMBAI, INDIA — India's budget startup Akasa Air is reportedly set to place a large order for new narrowbody jets this year. The move is aimed at taking advantage of the surging demand in India's domestic market and also expanding the new airline's operations globally by starting international flights.

Akasa Air has already received 17 Boeing 737 MAXs from its total order of 72 jets. The remaining 55 MAXs are expected to be delivered by March 2027.

"Before the end of this year, we are going to place another aircraft order that is going to be substantially larger than the 72 aircraft order we have placed," Akasa Air founder and CEO Vinay Dube said during an interview with Reuters news agency, without pointing a specific number.

According to Dube, who is also a former CEO of the now-defunct full-service airline Jet Airways, the upcoming aircraft order will be for narrowbody planes. It remains unclear whether the order will be placed with Boeing or Airbus, as the founder did not disclose this information. However, it is common practice for budget airlines to choose a single narrowbody type to reduce operating costs.

The order announcement coincides with a resurgence in travel demand in India after the pandemic. India is currently the fastest-growing aviation market in the world, with capacity levels exceeding those of 2019 and passenger numbers approaching pre-pandemic levels. The move by Akasa Air to increase its fleet is indicative of its effort to take advantage of the growing demand and expand its presence in India and South East Asia, respectively.

According to consulting firm CAPA, Indian airlines are predicted to order between 1,500 and 1,700 planes in the coming years. Indigo, the country's largest airline and a competitor to Akasa Air, is likely to place an order for 500 planes. The sizable orders from Indian airlines signify the robust growth of the country's aviation industry and India's emergence as a significant player in the global aviation market.

On Tuesday, Air India made a historical order by placing an order for 470 jets, the largest ever placed by a single airline. The airline is seeking to take advantage of the current travel boom in India and to compete with rivals like Emirates for international travelers.