Global Airlines, a start-up UK-based company looking to launch with a platform of only Airbus A380s, has announced the acquisition of its first aircraft.
Ex-China Southern A380
According to the airline, the first aircraft acquired, despite claims of an acquisition in 2023, is an ex-China Southern Airbus A380 known as MSN120.
Based on aircraft data, MSN120 was registered as B-6140 with China Southern and stored as of the end of 2022. The aircraft was first delivered to China Southern in 2013 after a first flight on 25 September 2012, when it occupied the test registration of F-WWSB.
China Southern removed its Airbus A380s after much deliberation during the global pandemic. This decision saw them look to lower costs amid dropping demand and focus on more fuel-efficient aircraft.
The A380 is currently in storage in California, where warm weather is preferred for storing aircraft for extended periods. Word on how the aircraft will be transported towards the United Kingdom is unclear.
Before Global Airlines attempted to enter the industry, the second-hand market for Airbus A380s was zero; those analysts critical of the start-up would argue interest in A380s remains zero as this airline will never get off the ground for many reasons.
The Mission Of Global Airlines
Global Airlines is a British start-up hoping to launch scheduled passenger services in 2024. However, it has now said it’ll miss its initial expectation of a mid-2024 launch. The carrier wants to fly the Airbus A380 exclusively.
Backed by James Asquith, the company’s Chief Executive, and now Richard Stephenson, the Chief Commercial Officer, the start-up has made headlines for its ambitious fleet and business plans.
Global Airlines hopes to fly to key markets worldwide but focuses on Los Angeles and New York to form the initial part of its route map, using London Gatwick at home. However, now the start-up may look to charter services to get flying first.
The company has been confident that its business model is structurally sound and that it’ll have no problems filling a 500-seater aircraft that legacy and well-established airlines have struggled to fill for decades and why at times the A380 struggled to sell.
Analysts & Onlookers Share Criticism
With an ambitious business plan comes notable criticisms by analysts and general onlookers. This includes concerns surrounding the aircraft and operation, with a general lack of understanding of the present challenges.
Present concerns include securing an AOC, slots into highly expensive and restrictive airports, configuring an aircraft that needs a significant cabin update and much more. This is all the while not factoring in the significant expenses, trying to turn a profit and more.
Global Airlines announced last year a partnership with Hi Fly to leverage Hi Fly’s experience with the A380 to help speed up their A380 entry into service program.