LONDON – The new start-up airline Hans Airways confirmed that it concluded its formal route proving flight for the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from Birmingham airport last Wednesday 31 August. The proving flight was conducted by its newly re-registered Airbus A330-200 aircraft G-KJAS.
Two sets of flight and cabin crew, led by COO Captain Nathan Burkitt and Neeru Prabhakar, Manager – Cabin Safety and Service, operated the flight, which ran to a flight time of just over two hours.
Simon Prower, Hans Airways Director of Ground Operations, focused on dispatch and logistics, with ground handling managed by Swissport.
The flight operated with over 100 guests on board, flying along the west coast towards the North Atlantic and back to Birmingham Airport.
On 30 August, the day prior to the formal proving flight, CEO and founder of Hans Airways, Satnam Saini proudly welcomed 55 guests made up of family, friends and airline partners, for a familiarisation test flight replicating a full-service offering.
The A330, still a white aircraft and yet to be put into airline livery, took off from Birmingham and made landings at Glasgow Prestwick, Doncaster, and then back to Prestwick, before returning to Birmingham Airport.
Photo Credit: Hans Airways
Hans Airways statements
“It is my honour and privilege to take the controls on our first A330 flight,” exclaimed COO and Captain Nathan Burkitt. On the first leg, to Prestwick, he was joined by Senior Captain Graham Ness (ex-Oman Air, easyJet) – one of the first pilots to join the company.
CEO and founder Satnam Saini expressed his appreciation for STS Aviation Services at Birmingham Airport, who he said had worked swiftly and enthusiastically over weekends to ready the aircraft for first flight.
He also praised his Hans Airways team, who he said have collectively, “contributed so much to making this day happen, a culmination of four years’ planning and shaping.“
“This week was a very significant one in the Hans Airways’ journey,” commented Chief Commercial Officer Martin Dunn, adding, “we are now really looking forward to pro-active engagement with the travel trade community.”
Photo Credit: Hans Airways
CAA regulatory milestone
The route proving flight for the CAA is the penultimate regulatory milestone in being able to start commercial revenue operations.
On the award of its UK Air Operator’s Certificate, Hans Airways will apply to India’s equivalent regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for its licence to fly from India.
Hans Airways – a hybrid long-haul carrier
The new airline has ambitions to be the UK’s now third long-haul scheduled carrier, operating a hybrid, affordable, full-service model.
The carrier intends to make Amritsar in Northern India its first destination from Birmingham Airport, and expects to be able to start flying in October, subject to CAA licence approval.