Akasa aircraft interior to sport different look till next Sept due to supply chain issues – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The fleet of India’s youngest airline, Akasa, will sport a different look for the next nine months due to global supply chain constraints — instead of the originally planned uniform experience across its aircraft. While the low cost carrier for now hopes to get the ordered Boeing 737 MAX on time, the inability of seat, fabric and USB charger suppliers to deliver as per schedule will mean that 11 aircraft being delivered between this month till about next April will have certain key differences — first three rows having 2 x 2 instead of 3 x 3 seats; seat covers will not be the planned purple and all seats won’t have USB chargers.
While Akasa currently has seven B737 MAX that have 189 seats in a 3 x 3 configuration, supply chain constraints have meant that not all seats on these aircraft have purple covers and/or USB chargers. The airline’s founder-CEO Vinay Dube says changes will be made so that the entire fleet has the planned uniform look and feel in the next nine months.
“The 11 aircraft that will be having 2 x 2 seating in the first three rows will also be all-economy and we will not be having a business class for these 12 seats. There will be a seat selection charge of Rs 2,500 (no meal or anything extra like priority check-in included in that) for these first three row seats. These 11 aircraft will be 174-seaters, 15 less than the 189-seaters currently in our fleet. Over the next nine months, we will have a uniform 3 x 3 seating in our purple seat covers and with each seat having a USB charger,” Dube said.
Akasa’a first 19 aircraft will be 189-seaters. From 20th aircraft onwards it will induct the slightly longer version of the B737 MAX that will have 197 seats. The first of these 197-seaters will hopefully be the last of the different interior aircraft for Akasa as per current supply chain constrains projections given by seat and USB suppliers.
IndiGo and GoAir have dozens of their Airbus A320 family of aircraft grounded for want of engines. Does Akasa also anticipate a delay from Safran for engines? “The first 20 aircraft we are to get have engines on their wings. So we do not anticipate a delay on that country,” Dube said. As a result, Akasa — that has ordered 72 B737 MAX — hopes to have 18 aircraft in its fleet by next March.
Once it has 20 planes by summer 2023, Akasa will be eligible to fly abroad. Covid has wreaked havoc on supply chain due to reasons like the factory to the world — China — shutting down in early 2020 and yet to open up. And manufacturers in other countries, especially the west, being unable to get back trained manpower once they reopened due to generous grants being given to citizens by governments there.
These issues got further aggravated with Russia’s war on Ukraine as that led to significant raw material sourcing displacement. While this has affected almost industry getting severely crippled. For aviation, it has meant airlines facing delays in getting aircraft, engines, seats and every imaginable component required in this supply chain.

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