Late on Thursday, Akasa Airlines announced that it will allow passengers to carry domesticated pets such as dogs and cats in cabin and cargo, starting November. As the “well capitalised” airline expands its routes, the bookings to get trained pets on board begin from October 15.
Akasa Airlines took off for the first time on August 7, and has been strategising to start flying internationally by mid-2023. Currently owning six aircraft, the airline plans to increase the number to 18 by the end of March next year, as it plans to expand its air routes to connect more cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati and Agartala, with 11 non-stop routes.
On October 7 , Akasa will fly from Delhi to Bangalore for the first time, and by the end of the month, the airline is expected to fly 300 flights every week.
According to Business Insider, the airline, in the first two months of its commercial operation, is “building India’s greenest, most dependable, and most affordable airline”.
As the airline introduces its pets on board service to create a unique travel experience, Belson Coutinho, co-founder and chief marketing and experience officer addressed the “enhanced policy” and said, “We did have a lot of pet lovers asking. We all believe that we need to have an inclusive environment for pets as well. It comes out of our love for pets.”
The airline is working closely with the Umeed for Animals Foundation to ensure better assistance to the pets and their wards travelling onboard. Each pet boarding the aircraft will have to be in a cage which has to be within 7 kgs in case of cabin carriage, and within 32 kgs in case of a check in. Reportedly, ther inclusive options would be provided for heavier pets.
Akasa is leveraging the expertise of the NGO to carefully understand how the care and treatments of the pets should be carried out, along with the guidelines of dos and don’ts for the pet owners.
With a vision to create more inclusive and humane travel experiences, Coutinho said, “We set out with a promise to be a dependable airline focussing on warm, efficient, and reliable service”.
As the company rapidly grows with its innovative and inclusive policies, plans of 54 additional aircraft, taking the total fleet size to 72, are expected to be fulfilled by the company in the next four years.