Start-up carrier Hans Airways has signed a Letter of Intent to take delivery of its first aircraft – an Airbus A330-200.

The airline said that the aircraft “has been operating with a leading European airline since 2008”, which reports to have been Air Europa.

The A330-200 will be configured in a two-cabin layout, with 275 economy seats offering a 31-inch seat pitch, and 24 premium economy seats with a pitch of 56 inches.

Business Traveller first reported on Hans Airways’ plans to launch routes between the UK and India in August last year, and the carrier has since confirmed that it intends to operate flights from Birmingham to secondary Indian cities.

Start-up Hans Airways plans UK-India flights in late 2021

The airline says that it has applied to the UK Civil Aviation Authority for its Air Operator’s Certificate and “is hopeful of obtaining the status in time to start revenue service this summer”. The carrier has already started training its first set to pilots and cabin crew in Crawley.

Hans Airways has also revealed that it loyalty programme will be called HAPEEI, standing for Hans Airways Passengers Environment Education Initiative, and will “reward passengers with all the regular benefits of a frequent flyer programme and with a strong emphasis on corporate social responsibility, create opportunities to donate to children’s educational charities in India or conservation and water preservation projects”.

Commenting on the news Hans Airways’ CEO Satnam Saini, said:

“We are delighted to have achieved this very important milestone in our two-year journey. Our scheduled operations centre on the Airbus A330, a popular and spacious long-haul widebody, excellent for cargo too, and we are grateful to everyone who has helped us to ratify this agreement at the start of the new year.”

Hans Airways is one of two start-ups planning to launch UK-India flights this year using A330s, with Flypop unveiling its first aircraft in August last year, featuring a distinctive livery with multi-coloured dots on the tailfin.

Flypop unveils first painted A330