Global Airlines Flies Airbus A380 To U.K

Daniel Fowkes
02 May 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
A Global Airlines Airbus A380

Global Airlines, a prospective start-up airline based in the U.K., has flown its first Airbus A380 from the desert to the United Kingdom via Montreal.

Registered as 9H-GLOBL, in association with HiFly and still painted in China Southern colours, the aircraft was ferried to Prestwick thanks to HiFly Malta, who operated the flight.

Over the last few months, the aircraft has been undergoing fundamental tests in the Californian desert. These tests were essential before it would be cleared to make the lengthy journey back to the United Kingdom.

An arrival at Prestwick also marks the first time the superjumbo has touched down at South Ayrshire Airport. As a result, the arrival saw crowds flock to experience the historic day.

Ferrying the A380 back to the U.K. represents another important step in the long-winded process before it can officially launch scheduled operations.

Who Are Global Airlines?

Flying an Airbus A380 from California to the U.K as a start-up is no small feat. So, who are Global Airlines, and what are their long-term ambitions?

Backed by James Asquith, the company’s Chief Executive, the start-up has made headlines for its rather ambitious targets across the last 18 months.

Global Airlines wants to redefine travel with a fleet of only Airbus A380s. Once airborne, the mission is to fly these aircraft towards Los Angeles, New York, as part of its initial route map, with operations based at London Gatwick.

Global Airlines wants to first fly its Airbus A380s from London Gatwick to destinations such as Los Angeles and New York.

As more Airbus A380s arrive, the company wants to extend its network to every part of the world. Global also wants to redefine the inside cabin product and make flying the company a true moment.

Global Airlines initially hoped to launch operations in 2024. However, meeting that tight deadline may be tougher than initially imagined.

Criticism Around Global Airlines

However, despite these ambitious plans, Global Airlines has received its fair share of criticism from analysts, the public, and others. One thing that cannot be faulted is the strong levels of ambition present.

Firstly, Global Airlines’ business model is incredibly high-risk. The airline is looking to operate with a fleet of inefficient aircraft that saw production cease several years ago. This is additionally an aircraft that struggled commercially as airlines couldn’t make the jet work in their fleets, these long-established airlines.

Global Airlines will operate exclusively with a fleet of used Airbus A380s, an aircraft on the way out and has struggled significantly with well-established airlines, let alone start-ups.

Additionally, Global Airlines wants to base itself out of Gatwick and fly towards primary airports. This ambition will cause it to face many pressures related to slots, traffic management, and associated costs. At this stage, it doesn’t appear the company has the funds to make the entire journey possible.

Much discussion has gone into the plane’s integrity inside the cabin. Because of its age, some think a complete retrofit will be required for every aircraft acquired.

Global has also received pushback for its persistent misinformation about obtaining an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and the unclear nature of its A380 acquisitions.

Alongside executives targeting media parties who criticised their business, the start-up has undoubtedly received mixed reactions. However, despite this, the company powers along with the funds available and attempts to achieve its dream sooner rather than later.

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