According to Global Airlines founder and long-haul carrier proponent James Asquith, the popularity of the Airbus A380 among travellers, pilots, and airports is the key to the company’s success.
Telling The Independent, “Everyone says that something can’t be done until it’s done,” he was being realistic.
Mr. Asquith, 34, is confident that the largest aeroplane in the world will succeed in a crowded market—his business strategy centres on the acquisition of cheap used Airbus A380s.
The double-deck plane has not succeeded commercially, with far fewer sales than the Boeing 747. More than half of the “SuperJumbos” manufactured in Europe are in service, with Emirates being the largest operator. Air France, however, no longer uses the aircraft and has parked some of its planes at the Lourdes airfield in southwestern France. Other A380s that had reached the end of their 10-year leases were returned. Because of this, used aeroplanes are pretty affordable.
Doric Aviation, a German aviation finance business, provided financing for purchasing Global Airlines’ first aircraft, one of an original fleet of four. There is no official word on the cost, although speculation places it in the low tens of millions.
Mr Asquith said: “By not paying $275m plus for an A380, our break-even point is much lower. “Over 15–20 years, interest and depreciation add up to around 40% of the cost of buying and financing an aeroplane.
We have deducted a considerable sum from the price. We have no debt, no creditors, and no lessors. That gives us greater room to grow in product offerings and price points.
The founder of Global Airlines has hinted that the company may begin operations “sooner than you think,” while no official launch date or route confirmations have been made. It has partnered with HiFly, a Portugal-based charter airline with A380 experience and the necessary permits.
“We’re exactly where we need to be,” Mr. Asquith said. “The ‘return to service’ work on our first aircraft is almost complete – in the 90 per cent range.”
However, the company’s creator has teased that “some other things — we’ll be revealing all of that pretty shortly” besides transatlantic flights.
Many aviation industry experts have questioned Global Airlines’ chances of a start-up successfully filling seats on the world’s largest passenger jet – in a crowded market where current “legacy” airlines have strong loyalty programmes and networks giving connections.
The high price of fuel, crew, and repairs are further points of criticism.
“There are challenges with the aircraft,” Mr. Asquith said. “That’s common knowledge. However, there are several advantages for travellers. They are favoured by travellers everywhere. This aircraft is popular among the crew. Pilots love this aircraft, and airports do as well. People desire the largest commercial aeroplane in the world. “I wouldn’t alter what we’re doing today with the A380, even if I’d known about all the problems it would cause at the outset. The result is all the A380 can accomplish.
The airline brazenly declares that it would “revolutionise commercial flying.” The company claims online: “We’ve all suffered for far too long with long security queues, late flights, lost luggage, inedible food, and constant poor customer service.” The discomforts of commercial plane travel can be quickly alleviated by using Global Airlines. We delight and amuse at every turn in the relationship. Relax and enjoy the ride, everyone”.
Business or pleasure, when you fly with Global Airlines, you’ll notice a difference—everything from planning and ground operations to scheduling and customer service. Simply put, we are not limited by conventional aviation norms.
Global Airlines will have a significant limitation due to the difficulty of hiring new employees. IAG, the parent company of British Airways, recently issued a warning: “Shortages of licenced engineers with aircraft experience across the aviation sector and in the Group’s airlines combined with aircraft, engine and component shortages are significantly impacting maintenance delivery timelines and may challenge morale.”
The crew want pretty basic things,” Mr. Asquith argues. They want the ability to choose their hours, a pleasant place to work, competitive compensation, and not to be overworked. It’s about making a place where people want to work, so much so that I’ve had hundreds of enquiries about joining our team since we opened applications. The beauty of, in the Seventies, of someone putting on a Pan Am or a TWA uniform and coming to work and feeling like a million damn dollars walking through the airport. “That’s what it could and should be.”