Indian Billionaire Set To Launch Airline

As jet fuel prices are sky-high, and aviation is a notoriously fickle industry, a billionaire dubbed “India’s Warren Buffett” is launching an airline on Sunday.

Co-founding Akasa Air was a rare departure into entrepreneurship for Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, who made his fortune on the stock exchange as a value share investor and is often compared to the Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO.

The 62-year-old’s entry into the capital-intensive sector has raised eyebrows, with many pointing to the chequered history of billionaire-backed airlines in India as well as the daunting global economic outlook.

“A lot of people question why I’ve started an airline. Rather than answer them, I say I’m prepared for failure,” the billionaire said at an industry event in February.

“It’s better to have tried and failed than not tried at all.”

Several such ventures have failed in recent years.

And for Jhunjhunwala the challenge is personal: “I hope to prove people wrong,” he said. “Now it’s become a matter of ego.”

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