Transatlantic start-up Global Airlines acquires A380

30 May 2023 by Mark Caswell
Image supplied by Global Airlines

Start-up carrier Global Airlines has acquired an A380 superjumbo from Doric Aviation, ahead of the planned launch of transatlantic flights by spring 2024.

The paper airline said that “unlike other new airlines” it had chosen to acquire its first aircraft “rather than opting for the traditional leasing route”, and would refit the superjumbo – believed to have previously flown with Singapore Airlines – with new cabins and seating.

The purchase price of the aircraft has not been disclosed, but is understood to be “in the eight-figure range”. The start-up said it had “significant backing from investors and parent company Holiday Swap”.

Global Airlines said that it also plans to acquire three further A380s in the coming months. Should everything go to plan, it will be the first carrier since ANA in 2019 to debut the superjumbo in its fleet, and the first ever start-up to launch operations using the A380.

Image supplied by Global Airlines

The carrier said on its website that it plans to configure its superjumbos with “approximately 471 seats”.

Images have been released showing a partial repaint of the A380 in Global’s livery, with the official launch of the airline expected this summer, when it will “outline in detail its passenger proposition, a number of unique industry partnerships, as well as future route networks and growth aspirations”.

Many A380s were grounded during the Covid-19 pandemic, and Air France retired its entire superjumbo fleet in 2020.

But the double-decker aircraft has been making something of a comeback in recent months, with Etihad Airways the latest to announce plans to reintroduce the A380 into its fleet.

For our round-up of the latest situation across all 14 superjumbo operators, see:

The A380 superjumbo: an update

Commenting on the news James Asquith, CEO and founder of Global Airlines, said:

“Our aspiration is to be the best way to fly, and the A380, with its unmatched levels of space, comfort, and service, will be absolutely central to achieving that vision.

“The purchase of our first aircraft demonstrates that we are well on the way to launching Global. The next step is to overhaul and refit the aircraft to our high specification, providing our customers with the best experience in the sky today.

“Acquiring our aircraft rather than leasing showcases our commitment to financial security and resilience from day one.”

Global Airlines joins a long line of start-up carriers announced in recent years – for our look at the latest situation with airlines from Bonza and Flypop to Hans Airways, Norse Atlantic and Really Cool Airlines, see:

A guide to new and forthcoming start-up airlines

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