Will Jhunjhunwala fly high with his airline bet?

“The airline industry is fraught with challenges and yet you have gone ahead and launched an ultra-low-cost airline?”

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“I have got a business plan,” Jhunjhunwala replied, without elaborating what the strategy is. “I’m surprised at the way people are surprised. I tell them when I came to the stock market, my mother asked, ‘who will marry you?’ Everybody thought I would fail and I proved them wrong,” he added.

Jhunjhunwala is backing Akasa Air, founded by aviation industry veteran Vinay Dube. Jhunjhunwala has invested about $50 million. The airline is awaiting regulatory approvals for a launch later this summer. Meanwhile, it has placed a $9 billion order (at list prices) for 72 Boeing 737 Max family of aircraft. The first delivery is expected in April.

The surprise, and scepticism, is because India’s aviation landscape is littered with stories of spectacular…

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