Sitting Down with Global Airlines: A380, Economics & Scepticism

Sitting Down with Global Airlines: A380, Economics & Scepticism
Photo Credit: Global Airlines.

There has been a lot of scepticism thrown at Global Airlines in its plans to start-up. Maybe it’s rightly so given the pattern of previous start-up companies, but can this be changed?

From having the bold ambitions from starting with a not-so-cost-effective aircraft being the Airbus A380, to wanting to enter a very saturated market, there have been key concerns over this.

However, AviationSource sat down with Liam McKay, the airline’s International Corporate Affairs Director to give him the chance to clear a few things up.

Global Airlines Confirms Airbus A380s Will Move to British Register…

Sitting Down with Global Airlines: A380, Economics & Scepticism
Photo Credit: Global Airlines.

At the moment, it is understood that one of their aircraft is registered as 9H-GLOBL, which gave some scepticism around securing a UK Air Operator’s Certificate.

On the Global Airlines A380 being registered as 9H-GLOBL under a Maltese tag, McKay said the following to AviationSource on this:

“9H-GLOBL enables Hi Fly to bring the aircraft to Europe to begin return to service work. In the future, when we start scheduled services, we will bring our aircraft over to a UK AOC”.

“We are hoping to bring our first aircraft to Europe before year end to begin return to service work. The plan remains to be operating later in 2024.”

Part of this return to service work was part of a deal signed with the ACMI provider earlier this year.

Within the continued stance of it’s relationship with HiFly, McKay also added:

“Through our relationship with Hi Fly there is potential to operate to/from a number of markets. As regards the UK [AOC], more information will be shared when appropriate.” 

The Economics of Operating The Aircraft At A New Airline…

Sitting Down with Global Airlines: A380, Economics & Scepticism
Photo Credit: Global Airlines.

A lot of scepticism has been thrown around at Global Airlines around how they will be able to provide positive economics using the Airbus A380 as their aircraft of choice for starting up.

Particularly with the setup of the aircraft expected to be around 500 seats, when asked about the level of confidence they have with the aircraft, McKay said the following:

“Our ambition is to begin on NYC and LA, two year long, demand heavy routes.”

“We believe by offering an elevated product, and adopting a competitive commercial strategy, we will be able to achieve good load factors on the aircraft.”

This does portray a significant level of confidence, considering the cost efficiencies surrounding an Airbus A380, which has forced the likes of Thai Airways, Air France and others to withdraw the aircraft from service. And they are big legacy carriers.

However, McKay also noted that at the Routes World 2023 event which happened recently, things do appear to be positive for them:

“Also, at Routes, we met with a number of potential partners, with capacity and ambitions to grow during winter season. We will consider relevant route development options as we bring our aircraft into service.”

When Asked About Scepticism Over UK Start-Up Carriers…

Sitting Down with Global Airlines: A380, Economics & Scepticism
Photo Credit: Global Airlines.


Within the UK and arguably around the world, there has always been significant scepticism over start-up carriers announcing their intention to launch services.

There have been many that have attempted and failed, with Global Airlines receiving a lot of this scepticism over the past few months.

On that particular topic, this is what McKay had to say on this:

Starting a new airline is hugely challenging, so we understand some scepticism.”

“That said, there are a huge number of supporters for what we are setting out to achieve.”

“Competition is what drives this industry forward and, ultimately, benefits the passenger.”

Whilst this does address the concern of scepticism over Global Airlines operations per se, this will no doubt continue to be a theme of the carrier moving forward.

We Are Just Going To Have To Wait & See What Happens…

Photo Credit: James Asquith via Global Airlines.

Looking ahead, the only real answer into whether this scepticism is founded or unfounded will depends on whether Global Airlines gets into commercial service, and whether it remains consistent in doing so.

Despite this, they do seem to be proceeding with things on time as planned, especially through the series of announcements made this year already, which other start-ups particularly in the UK hadn’t made it that far.

In this case, we are just going to have to wait and see what happens, but there does seem to be a level of confidence oozing from the team at Global Airlines.

But, of course, it’s whether they can put that confidence into a positive & practical solution that gets them into the air, once and for all, to shut down the scepticism.

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By James Field - Editor in Chief 6 Min Read
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