UK start-up carrier Hans Airways is progressing with plans to launch flights to India later this year, with the start of recruitment of flight crew.

The airline said it was working with Resource Group to hire Captains, First Officers and Training Captains required to fly its planned fleet of A330-200s.

This in turn will allow Hans Airways to move towards obtaining its Air Operator Certificate from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

The carrier plans to launch flights in late 2021, initially focusing on undisclosed routes between the UK and secondary Indian cities.

According to airline’s About Us page, “The origin of Hans Airways lies in experience operating between secondary city pairs in the UK and India which established that there was a high demand for regular flights serving Indian diasporas in Europe and North America”.

“The CEO of Hans Airways was instrumental in setting up a series of charter flights to one of these destinations with Monarch Airlines and Fly Jet Airlines,” the page adds.

The carrier said it plans to offer a hybrid business model, “harnessing the ‘value for money’ approach adopted by low-cost carriers (LCCs) alongside the ‘quality of service’ approach expected from traditional full-service, long-haul airlines”.

Hans Airways is one of two start-ups planning to launch UK-India flights this year. Flypop recently confirmed plans to operate initial services out of London Stansted airport, and is targeting a launch date of October.

Flypop confirms London Stansted as launch UK base

Nathan Burkitt, director flight operations and crew training at Hans Airways, said that the airline was “getting ready for our proving flight in October as part of the process to obtain Hans Airways’ AOC”.

“We have determined a planned launch date internally, and we will make an announcement once all regulatory requirements are complete,” Burkitt added.

A number of new routes have been announced between the UK and India in the last couple of years, although their launches have been largely scuppered by Covid-19.

In December Virgin Atlantic confirmed it had withdrawn plans to launch flights from Manchester to Delhi and Mumbai, and while Indian carriers Spicejet and Vistara both announced plans to fly to London last year, but again these routes have either been suspended or postponed as a result of Covid flight restrictions.